Site Logo

DPP v Le & Anor [2021] VCC 582

The offenders were sentenced following pleas of guilty. Le pleaded guilty to 1 count of conspiring to import a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug, 1 count of dealing with money that is proceeds of crime in the sum of $100,000 or more, believing it to be the proceeds of crime and 1 count of trafficking in a marketable quantity of a controlled drug. Vu pleaded guilty to 1 count of aiding and abetting, trafficking in a controlled drug and 1 count of failing to comply with an order made under s.3LA of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth). Offence of importing commercial quantity relates to 15.94kg of pure cocaine.  

Nature and Circumstances: Conspiracy involved high degree of sophistication. The drugs were potentially extremely high in value. Offending was not isolated but occurred over a period of 3 and a half months. Le worked under direction of cousin who resided in Vietnam. Le was however instrumental in securing the importation of cocaine. Le had senior and very trusted role in the syndicate. Role in importation was extensive. Le was willing and active participant in offending for financial gain. Le’s trafficking offence was at lower end of seriousness. In relation to Vu, the provision of the device was done in the knowledge it would be used in trafficking drugs, however offending occurred on a single day. It was not suggested that Vu knew the specific type or quantity of drugs to be trafficked.  

Antecedents: Le was significant drug user during offending period, which spurred offending conduct. In part, offending engaged in occurred in the context of cocaine addiction and in order to fund it. Although drug use provides some explanation for offending it does not excuse it.  

Delay: Period between arrest and sentence is over two years and is not attributable to conduct of the offenders. Vu since release on bail has utilised time and taken positive steps toward rehabilitation. Le has had prosecution and fear and expectation of being sentenced hanging over their head. Co-offenders Abdo and Fajardo are contesting charges.  

General Deterrence: Stern punishment will be warranted in almost every case given difficulty of detecting importation offences and social consequences that follow. Level of criminality is required to be assessed though involvement at any level of offending warrants punishment. Role played by offender is of great importance in assessing objective criminality. This kind of offending, involving different players in an illicit drug network, can only succeed if people are ready willing and able to participate, whatever role they have.  

Le sentenced to 15 years and 6 months imprisonment with a 10 year non-parole period. Vu sentenced to 18 months imprisonment to be released on a recognisance release order after 12 months.
The CSD acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as First Australians and recognises their culture, history, diversity and their deep connection to the land. We acknowledge that we are on the land of the traditional owners and pay respects to Elders past and present.

© 2023 The National Judicial College of Australia (NJCA). Powered by

Privacy Policy|Terms and Conditions