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Breastfeeding baby food: Bankstown pastry chef, drug addict arrested

This is the struggling shop owner who has been accused of deliberately selling the baby food stolen from Coles and allegedly provided to her by a drug addict.

Former baker Tram Huynh Bao Phan, 41, was arrested in her street shop in Bankstown, west Sydney, after local business people became suspicious – with looks proudly displayed in her shop window.

On an incredible flight, investigators found 457 baby food containers during raids at the ‘MoMs & KiDs’ store and home of the mother of three on Tuesday afternoon, plus $ 45,000 in alleged crime proceeds.

Officers also found 12 packs of diapers, 67 jars of manuka honey, papaya ointment, and $ 4,580 in cash believed to be crime proceeds.

While she and her co-suspect, alleged thief Christos Filippopoulos, 45, asked for bail on Wednesday, the court heard that Phan had previously run a Vietnamese pastry shop in the area, but had fallen through hard times.

Mother-of-three Tram Phan - a former confectionery businesswoman who became a baby food saleswoman - was accused of knowingly receiving stolen goods

Mother-of-three Tram Phan – a former confectionery businesswoman who became a baby food saleswoman – was accused of knowingly receiving stolen goods

The police were tipped off by suspected local entrepreneurs for the alleged violation. Upstairs, agents at the 'MoMs & KiDs' store in Chapel St, Bankstown

The police were tipped off by suspected local entrepreneurs for the alleged violation. Upstairs, agents at the 'MoMs & KiDs' store in Chapel St, Bankstown

The police were tipped off by suspected local entrepreneurs for the alleged violation. Upstairs, agents at the ‘MoMs & KiDs’ store in Chapel St, Bankstown

Detectives carried out search warrants Tuesday at a business in Mrs. Phan's store (pictured), plus a house in Chester Hill

Detectives carried out search warrants Tuesday at a business in Mrs. Phan's store (pictured), plus a house in Chester Hill

Detectives carried out search warrants Tuesday at a business in Mrs. Phan’s store (pictured), plus a house in Chester Hill

Above are dozens of baby food cans that house detectives have

Above are dozens of baby food cans that house detectives have

Above are dozens of baby food cans that house detectives have

Phan has been accused of knowingly receiving stolen goods and six times recklessly dealing with crime proceeds. Filippopoulos was charged with 45 offenses, including 35 shoplifting counts, six counts of selling stolen goods and driving while being disqualified.

When Filippopoulos’ lawyer, Veronica Love, asked him to get bail, magistrate George Breton wondered how the accused couple thought they could get away with the alleged scam.

“It is a wonder they were not followed in their footsteps long before today or yesterday,” said Breton magistrate during his case.

“They continued to act naively, probably believing they would never be caught.”

He described the offense as “straightforward” – with Filippopoulos “loading and walking Coles away”.

Phan’s lawyer, Mai Pham, said the court police had said that her client had been “very accommodating and cooperative” in their investigations.

“She was previously married and now divorced, so a single mother, with three children, 12, nine and two,” the lawyer said.

“She previously owned a business that made cake and sold cake. She recently switched to this specific company (MoMs and KiDs). ‘

Ms. Phan, the 41-year-old female owner of the company, was arrested and spent the night with NSW police at the Sydney Police Center in Surry Hills

Ms. Phan, the 41-year-old female owner of the company, was arrested and spent the night in NSW Police prison at Sydney Police Center in Surry Hills

Ms. Phan, the 41-year-old female owner of the company, was arrested and spent the night in NSW Police prison at Sydney Police Center in Surry Hills

Agents examine dozens of cans of Aptamil Pro, a formula mix, at a house in Chester Hill

Agents examine dozens of cans of Aptamil Pro, a formula mix, at a house in Chester Hill

Agents examine dozens of cans of Aptamil Pro, a formula mix, at a house in Chester Hill

Christos Filippopoulos, 45, has been charged with 45 crimes in connection with the alleged syndicate. He was denied bail, despite his lawyer claiming that he had proven the cause, because he was addicted to drugs and enrolled in a methadone prorgam and fathered young children

Magistrate Breton said her company seemed to have had “financial difficulties” perhaps before the COVID-19 crisis.

He said based on police facts that “imprisonment is an appropriate sentence” for such serious criminal offenses.

Phan previously owned a Vietnamese bakery and pastry shop on the same street on the same street

Phan previously owned a Vietnamese bakery and pastry shop on the same street on the same street

Phan previously owned a Vietnamese bakery and pastry shop on the same street on the same street

“She is determined to voluntarily participate in the criminal syndicate,” he said.

Phan received a $ 5,000 bail, including reporting to the police weekly and returning her passport.

The court heard that Filippopoulos was a drug addict who participated in a methadone program.

He sought bail, but police prosecutor Jason Burt opposed him and was remanded in custody.

Both cases will be brought to court later this year. The police expect further arrests.

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