Seeing red over raid

Michael Le talking to Times reporter Claire Ottaviano. Picture: Justin Bianchini.
Michael Le talking to Times reporter Claire Ottaviano. Picture: Justin Bianchini.

Mr Le, who asked that his full photograph not be taken, faces a money laundering charge along with his brother Canh, who has also been charged with harbouring 27 unlawful citizens.

The State’s biggest tomato producer says he and his brother will defend charges laid against them and fight to restore their family and business reputation.

He was speaking a day after City of Wanneroo and WA Building Commission staff, accompanied by Organised Crime officers, inspected the property and issued 33 work orders.

The initial raid, charges and their reporting, along with a report on last week’s council-commission inspection, have angered the businessman and ‘ruined the family’s reputation’.

‘It’s taken us 16 years to build up this company and the media (coverage) in two days has pretty much shut us down,’ Mr Le said.

‘The supermarkets are scared, our customers are scared.’

Despite those fears, his multi-interest company was still operating even though police seized phones and computers in the raid.

‘The company has done nothing wrong, and also my family members have done nothing wrong. We’ve got children going to school being discriminated against,’ he said.

Mr Le said he and his family ” who had established the Carabooda business in 1997 ” had concerns about the way the police raid was conducted and the impact it might have had on his mother and a teenage nephew living in a house on the property.

‘I will at a later stage be taking this to the next level, on the way the raids were done, and the way my family members were treated on that day,’ Mr Le said.

‘We’ll fight every allegation against us; we’re not moving anywhere, we’re not leaving.’

WA Police media liaison officer Samuel Dinnison said tactical resources were used in situations deemed ‘high-risk’ .

‘Should any person involved in the execution of a search warrant believe they were treated unfairly, they have the option of making a complaint to the Police Complaints Centre,’ he said.

Michael and Canh Le are due to appear in the Perth Magistrates court today.

For more on the raids:
Pair not present during raid
Give us our phones back
– Dozens of work orders issued
Big presence but cost to City unclear