Former Auburn deputy mayor Salim Mehajer is among four people arrested in relation to a car crash he had on the way to court to face an assault charge last year.
Police said they would charge Mehajer with perverting the course of justice and conspiring to cheat and defraud over the two-vehicle collision in Sydney’s south-west.
The charge of perverting the course of justice relates to Mehajer allegedly trying to prevent the assault case going ahead while the conspiracy charge relates to insurance fraud.
Among those arrested was Mehajer’s friend and business associate, Ahmed Jaghbir, who in November was charged with the murder of Hells Angels bikie Kemel ‘Blackie’ Barakat.
Salim Mehajer is accompanied by a detective after being arrested at his Vaucluse home
Salim Mehajer at the scene of the accident in Sydney’s south-west on October 16 last year
Salim Mehajer arives at Downing Centre Local Court on an unrelated matter in December
Mehajer was driving a Mercedes AMG on his way to court to face charges of assault on October 16 when his vehicle collided with a Mitsubishi Outlander at the intersection of Nicholas and Delhi Streets, Lidcombe.
The collision happened about 8.45am.
Mehajer was freed by Fire and Rescue NSW officers after about 20 minutes and taken to Westmead Hospital where he was treated and later released.
His passenger and the occupants of the Mitsubishi – two women, aged 31 and 32 – were not reported to have been injured during the incident.
Detectives from Flemington Local Area Command commenced an investigation into the collision under Strike Force Reppan, NSW police said on Tuesday.
Following extensive inquiries, investigators arrested Mehajer at a home at Vaucluse, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, and 28-year-old Jaghbir at a home at Lidcombe, in Sydney’s south-west, just before 7am.
Mehajer and Jaghbir were taken to Waverley and Bankstown police stations respectively, where they will be charged with perverting the course of justice and conspiring to cheat and defraud.
Salim Mehajer is helped by paramedics after his car crash at Lidcombe in October last year
The Mercedes Salim Mehajer was driving when he collided with a Mitsubishi in October
Former deputy mayor Salim Mehajer in a neck brace after he crashed his Mercedes last year
Shortly after the arrests of Mehajer and Jaghbir, investigators arrested a 30-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman at a home at Lidcombe.
The pair was taken to Auburn police station, where they were expected to be charged with conspiring to cheat and defraud in relation to the crash.
Detective Superintendent Philip Rogerson said all those set to be charged faced a ‘lengthy term of imprisonment’ if convicted.
Police had witnesses to the car crash and ‘sufficient’ evidence to put four people before the court.
‘It’s not acceptable to the police and in particular the emergency services that freed them on that particular day and obviously the insurance companies who have to pay the premiums,’ Detective Superintendent Rogerson said.
Investigations are continuing and further arrests are expected.
Mehajer had been due to appear in the Downing Centre Local Court in the city on the morning of the crash to face a charge of assaulting a taxi driver.
Ahmed Jaghbir (left) pictured with Salim Mehajer; both men were arrested on Tuesday
Electrican Ahmed Jaghbir has been charged with the murder of bikie Kemel Barakat last year
Pictures taken at the scene show him being pulled from the vehicle and placed into a neck brace, before being treated for neck pain and taken to hospital.
Explaining his client’s absence to the court, his lawyer said Mehajer had been in a motor accident and his injuries were ‘relatively serious’.
Paramedics also assisted a woman at the scene, but she did not require treatment.
And just hours after the crash, Mehajer sent images to media outlets showing the damage to his vehicle, claiming the pictures had been ‘requested’.
The accident happened not far from Mehajer’s house and the scene of his lavish wedding in 2015 which included helicopters and sports cars.
Ahmed Jaghbir has been on $800,000 bail after being charged with the murder of Barakat, who was allegedly killed by four others at Mortlake in Sydney’s south on May 10 last year. He was shot more than a dozen times.
Salim Mehajer on the day of his 2015 wedding to Aysha at Lidcombe in Sydney’s south-west
Former Auburn deputy mayor Salim Mehajer after the car accident in October last year
Police raid the Vaucluse home of Salim Mehajer (left) in relation to suspected insurance fraud
The electrician allegedly posed as a locksmith to help replace a lock on Barakat’s door before reportedly taking a spare key.
Jaghbir got married in September, with Mehajer reportedly one of the guests at a lavish ceremony.
Before vows were exchanged, Mehajer posed for photos with the groom and placed cufflinks on his sleeves; one appeared to be in the shape of a handgun.
After Jaghbir married his bride Nadima, a convoy of luxury cars and a motorcade of Harley-Davidsons escorted him from the function.
Jaghbir was appointed sole director of Mehajer’s wedding business, Mehajer Wedding and Event Planning, in September.
Police have also charged Jaghbir with being an accessory before the fact to Barakat’s murder and participating in a criminal group, contributing to criminal activity.
Daily Mail Australia does not suggest Mehajer is involved in any way with the underworld murder of Barakat.
Ahmed Jaghbir (pictured) was charged in November last year with murdering Kemel Barakat
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