Brothers vow to fight charges
Wants to clear name: Michael Le. Picture: Lincoln Baker/The West Australian

Carabooda market gardener Michael Le has accused police of "ruining" his family's reputation and has vowed to fight all charges stemming from raids on his business empire.

In an interview published in The Joondalup Times yesterday, Mr Le claimed his business had been "pretty much shut down" as a result of the continuing investigation into illegal workers and money laundering.

"The supermarkets are scared, our customers are scared," Mr Le said.

"We'll fight every allegation against us. The company has done nothing wrong and also my family members have done nothing wrong."

Mr Le's comments co- incided with his first appearance in Perth Magistrate's Court yesterday on a charge of dealing in the proceeds of crime.

His elder brother Canh Le also appeared on the same charge as well as a separate offence of harbouring illegal workers.

The brothers were not required to enter a plea and will appear in court again next month.

Hundreds of police were involved in co-ordinated raids on May 3.

During the raids almost 200 suspected illegal workers were rounded up from Carabooda farms, including several properties linked to the Le family.

At least eight others have also been charged and guns, drugs and cash seized as part of the investigation.

The Le family own a string of companies involved in a range of activities, including vegetable production, construction, steel fabrication and fish farming.

Most of those companies are run from the same Carabooda compound that has now been raided twice.

Le family members also live at the compound.

Michael Le said he was concerned about the tactics used by police during the initial raids, which included driving an armoured truck through his front gates and armed TRG officers storming homes, including that of his elderly mother.

"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.

Police have defended the tactics, describing the operation as "high-risk" because several firearms were seized from the property.

The West Australian

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