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Cloud 9 owner to pay $96k over ice pipes

AAP logoAAP 19/09/2016

A pharmacist who runs a notorious chain of smoke shops and admitted illegally importing more than 2000 ice pipes into Western Australia has been ordered to pay $96,500.

Cloud 9 owner Hoang Nam Nguyen ordered the Sweet Puff Holland glass pipes from China and India in 2014.

He pleaded guilty to three charges in Perth Magistrates Court and on Monday was fined $60,000 and ordered to pay costs of $36,500.

The court heard the glass pipes were imported for about 73 cents each but were sold for between $60 and $120 each.

Nguyen tried to avoid being caught by getting the packages sent to his pharmacy and asking suppliers to put flowers in the boxes, but Customs still intercepted the packages, which were labelled "glass container samples".

Nguyen maintained he was not familiar with how people smoked meth and said he planned to sell the glass items as kerosene lamps, candle holders and as devices for smoking tobacco.

But Deputy Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Woods said the pipes did not resemble those items and she did not accept a pharmacist could be so unaware.

"There is no other use for these pipes other than as ice pipes," she said.

Magistrate Woods said general and personal deterrence were significant factors in sentencing.

"This is a serious offence, there is a significant quantity of pipes," she said.

"It was, in my view, a commercial decision."

Nguyen could now be deregistered as a pharmacist.

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