Hanwell Poker Player Sued for $10K Seized in Traffic Check

Publish: 06.04.2017

Ha Van Nguyen is not an obscure name in Canada.

The 44-year-old Hanwell resident might ring a couple of bells for poker fans who saw him finish 13th in the World Poker Tour’s 2016 Canadian spring Championship, but his is once again in the spotlight due to a police’s $10,000 seize after an RCMP check stop back in 2015.

Illegal Activity Cash?

The RCMP officer pulled Nguyen on 20 November, 2015 around 2 a.m. on a routine check stop only to be hit by a strong smell of marijuana coming from his Nissan Titan truck. Nguyen has already been charged with marijuana possession from earlier in 2015 and 2006 when he was even sentenced to six months in jail.

Still the RCMP officer discovered more that marijuana in Nguyen’s truck as $10,000 was recovered, believed to be the proceeds of illegal drug activity. The Hanwell man saw his money seized by the Crown under New Brunswick’s Civil Forfeiture Act as the money was presumed to be used for illegal activities.

Two cellphones and approximately $185 in loose cash were also taken away from Nguyen.

Poker Cash?

During the night of the seizure, Nguyen told the RCMP that the money was his ‘poker bank roll’ as he had been playing poker at St. Mary’s Entertainment Centre at St. Mary’s First Nation.

Nguyen’s statement of defense claims the money taken away from him was not to be used on any unlawful activity, but the information he provided has not been proven in court. Nguyen’s defense was made harder due to the fact he turned his car around and wanted to avoid being pulled over on the night of the check stop.

Nguyen also tried to throw money out of the car claiming he was ‘scared’ as he had marijuana on him.

Such an unfortunate event and result for a man who fared rather well on a couple of high-stakes poker tournaments. Nguyen was the winner of the Atlantic Canada poker championship in 2016 when he pocketed $30,000.