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Canadian Police Want Poker Player's Bankroll Because He Had Weed In Car During Traffic Stop

Police Say It Was Drug Money, But No Charges Were Filed


The government of the Canadian province New Brunswick is suing a poker player to try to keep his $10,000 bankroll that was seized in a November 2015 traffic stop.

According to a report from, 44-year-old poker player Ha Van Nguyen was pulled over at a Royal Canadian Mounted Police check stop after making a purportedly suspicious maneuver. Police claim that they smelled marijuana in his Nissan Titan.

Nguyen did in fact have weed in his car, and before being pulled over tossed a bag containing the $10,700 out the window. Police later found it.

“The reason why I was scared was because I had [marijuana], it wasn’t because I had money,” Nguyen told police. “The money was for my poker bankroll.”

Nguyen has more than $40,000 in lifetime tournament earnings.

An incident report states that Nguyen was “very co-operative and not upset about his money being seized.” Police said that he did ask to have it back so he could play poker the following weekend.

The bag allegedly was vacuumed sealed. Police alleged that the way the money was arranged means it was drug money. He also allegedly had two cell phones in his vehicle.

No charges were filed from the 2015 traffic stop despite the accusations, but the government wants to keep the money under a Civil Forfeiture Act.

Nguyen was convicted of a marijuana-related charge in 2006.

Nguyen’s situation is similar to that of two California poker players who had their $100,000 bankroll seized in a traffic stop in Iowa after police discovered a small amount of marijuana in their vehicle.

They settled late last year.

Tags: Poker Crime,   Canada