Queensland bricklayer has more than $590m in bank account, court hears

He allegedly told police officers, after being pulled over in his luxury sports car, that he was worth $12bn

A tradesman pulled over by police in a luxury sports car has more than $590m in the bank but is not “at liberty” to say how he got it, a Brisbane court has heard.

881Phillip Johnathan Harrison was granted bail in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Saturday, a day after police pulled him over in an Audi sports car and found quantities of ice, Viagra and ecstasy.

The court heard the bricklayer and carpenter told officers he was worth $12bn and later explained to his lawyer he had been given the car by the government.

The duty lawyer Nick Hanly said he had asked the 29-year-old the origin of his significant net wealth, which he had apparently only come into in the past 12 months.

“He said he wasn’t at liberty to say,” Hanly told the court.

“At this point, I was considering getting mental health to come in.”

But Hanly said Harrison then urged him to log on to his online banking account – which showed a cash balance of $596m and a property portfolio of $1.56bn.

Such a net worth would make the labourer wealthier than the likes of the Harvey Norman co-founder Gerry Harvey, the mining magnate Andrew Forrest and the property and construction king Lang Walker.

“I would not have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes,” Hanly said of his client’s bank balance.

The court heard Harrison was an ice user.

The police prosecutor Sergeant Sean Francis suggested Harrison’s passport be surrendered as a condition of bail, given his means could make him an increased flight risk.

The magistrate Anthony Gett agreed and also granted bail on the condition Harrison reside at a Tewantin address.

The matter will return to court on April 18.

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