ACT News

Man linked to multimillion dollar cannabis haul dying behind bars

A man linked to a multimillion dollar cannabis haul is dying from a liver tumour while behind bars, a court has heard.

Chunsheng Li, 48, was swooped up during an investigation into two cannabis grow houses in Canberra, which were raided earlier this year. 

The potential street value of the drugs seized from the  properties is about $2,500,000.
The potential street value of the drugs seized from the properties is about $2,500,000. Photo: ACT Policing

The houses held $2.5 million worth of drugs, including 800 plants and 17 kilograms of packaged cannabis

Li was one of four Chinese nationals arrested in the raids, and is being sentenced in the ACT Supreme Court for cultivating the drug.

The Evatt home he was linked with included several makeshift rooms that contained heat lights on timers, exhaust fans and black hosing. The power supply had also been tampered with. 

Li pleaded guilty, but said last month that he had not known what type of plants he had been growing. 


The court heard on Wednesday that, after his arrest, Li was found to have two lesions on his liver. They were investigated as he waited in the Alexander Maconochie Centre, and doctors now hold a bleak prognosis for Li.

Even if the tumour can be successfully operated on, Li would not have many years to live. The court heard his disease was likely the result of hepatitis, which he contracted just after birth. 

Li also faces detention in an immigration centre or deportation to China upon release from prison.

He is now left with the choice of whether to push ahead with the surgery.

His sentencing has been put on hold for six weeks to give him more time to discuss the matter with doctors. 

The case will return to court in September.