An alleged underground Gold Coast marijuana trafficking ring boss has been granted bail after persuading a judge he will show up to court.
The alleged Gold Coast kingpin of a multi million-dollar cannabis syndicate will walk from prison after securing bail with a $250,000 undertaking.
Ben Hannan and his wife were arrested in March and charged with trafficking drugs grown in underground shipping containers in the hinterland suburb of Willow Vale.
Prosecutors opposed the father of two’s bail, partly on grounds that he is a flight risk because he has been charged under strict new laws targeting criminal groups.
“The seriousness of the offence, if he is in fact convicted, … means he would have to serve an extra 25 years, which is in my submission good motivation to abscond,” Crown prosecutor Danny Boyle told the Supreme Court in Brisbane.
However judge Peter Flanagan agreed with defence barrister Greg McGuire’s argument that the risk is mitigated by bail conditions, including a strict curfew and a $250,000 surety.
“In these circumstances I am satisfied … that the risk of flight is sufficiently ameliorated,” Justice Flanagan said.
Prosecutors claim Hannan ran the highly sophisticated and lucrative hydroponic cannabis set-up over more than four years.
He and his wife Sarah allegedly had property investments worth $3.345 million and deposited more than $1 million in cash between August and December 2013.