AN UBER driver charged with having 48kg of marijuana in the boot of his car has been granted bail by a Toowoomba magistrate.
Van Hung Du, 55, and Viet Dung Do, 33, were pulled over by Stanthorpe police on the New England Highway near Ballandean on Tuesday afternoon.
Police claim they found three suitcases containing 48kg of packaged marijuana in the boot of of the Lexus sedan.
The marijuana had an estimated street value of about $318,000, police claimed.
Do did not apply for bail and was remanded in custody.
However, Du applied for bail before Toowoomba Magistrates Court on Wednesday claiming he had simply been hired by the other man to drive him from Sydney to Brisbane and that he had no idea what was in the suitcases put in the boot of the car by Do.
Du remained in custody until duty solicitor Phil Stainton made a further application for bail yesterday.
Mr Stainton said his client was born in Vietnam but had been in Australia for 28 years where he was a permanent resident with an Australian passport.
His client worked for Uber as well as having his own drive hire business and it was in that capacity that he had been hired to drive the other man to Queensland, he said.
Du, who had no criminal history at all, had been a professional driver in Sydney for 20 years, had operated a restaurant in Bondi for three years and generally had a good work record since coming to Australia.
His client had lived with his de facto wife of 12 years in the Sydney suburb of Canley Vale and both had children either studying or working in the Sydney area, he said.
Du's car and mobile phone had been seized by police, the court heard.
Mr Stainton submitted there was no police evidence that his client knew what was in the bags placed in the boot of the car by his client's passenger.
Neither accused man has as yet been required to enter any pleas to charges of possessing a dangerous drug in a quantity exceeding Schedule 3 and possessing anything used in the commission of a crime (mobile phone).
Magistrate Graham Lee said the allegations were very serious but in the circumstances he was prepared to grant Du bail with strict conditions.
Mr Lee remanded Du on bail on condition he surrender his passport to police before he was released from custody and not go within 100m of an Australian port of departure, reside at his address in Canley Vale, report to Cabramatta police once a week and have no contact whatsoever with the co-accused Do.
Du's case was adjourned for committal mention back in the same court on August 21.
Do's case will next be mentioned in Toowoomba Magistrates Court on June 29.
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