CRIME: Everything you need to know about the Ibrahim arrests, so far.

As Sydney lay sleeping on a Tuesday morning, armed police with a search warrant raided the Eastern Suburbs mansion of 46-year-old ‘King of the Cross’ John Ibrahim.

The pre-dawn raid on Ibrahim’s Dover Heights home was one of thirty conducted simultaneously across Sydney alone. This operation, however, was far from Sydney-centric. Operation Veyda, targeting the illegal importation of MDMA drugs and tobacco into Australia, involved seventeen arrests across three continents.

John Ibrahim, pictured in May 2010. Image source: Getty.

Despite never being convicted of a serious crime, Ibrahim is no stranger to police attention. This year he released his autobiography Last King of The Cross with the blurb of his book describing John Ibrahim, according to John Ibrahim:


In the mongrel tongue of the streets, John writes of fleeing war-torn Tripoli with his family and growing up in Sydney's rough and tumble west - before establishing himself as a tough guy and teen delinquent, then a bouncer, enforcer and nightclub king on the Golden Mile.

Bullets fly, blades flash and bodies fall. In a city of shadows, John builds his army and empire - partying like a playboy prince of darkness while staying one step ahead of the cops, the outlaw gangs and hungry triggermen, plotting to take him and his family down.

He's also seen his early life dramatised in the TV series, Underbelly: The Golden Mile and is regularly photographed at celebrity society events.

He is, arguably, the 'kingpin' of the Ibrahim family, unarguably a man Sydney has come to be intrigued by.

John Ibrahim was not arrested in the raids. But his two brothers, Fadi and Michael, were. They were arrested in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates while they were out at dinner following an operation by Australian police and local authorities. (Michael Ibrahim was released from jail in 2014 after serving six years for manslaughter).

Fadi Ibrahim, pictured with girlfriend Shayda Bastani (left) in 2010, was arrested with his brother Michael in Dubai. Image source: Getty.

Also arrested was John Ibrahim's 27-year-old girlfriend, Sarah Budge, a model and nightclub hostess, who was charged with possessing a pistol (reported to be a Glock) and John Ibrahim's son, 26-year-old Daniel Taylor, a former member of the Australian Army, who was charged with intending to use more than $2.25 million to import tobacco.

Budge must relinquish her passport, not leave NSW or go within 500 metres of an international point of departure. She was granted bail on a $50,000 security.


Taylor was forced to surrender his mobile phone, and is not permitted to leave NSW or go within 500 metres of an international point of departure. He had already surrendered his passport to police. His family will deposit a $630,000 security.

AAP reports "The commonwealth prosecutor did not oppose bail for the pair, which was granted with strict bail conditions by Magistrate Clare Farnan."

Taylor will have to report to police daily, while Budge will have to report three times per week.

The operation began in the Netherlands in July this year, when police foiled an alleged plot to import an enormous collection of drugs into Australia: 1.8 tonnes of MDMA; 136 kilograms of cocaine; 15 kilograms of methamphetamine; $5.5million cash; a Glock pistol; and a semi-automatic rifle were seized.


The street value of the goods, when totalled, nears $1 billion.

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Australian Federal Police began investigating the crime syndicate in mid-2016, after receiving information they were working with criminals in Dubai and the Netherlands. Police will allege the group worked closely to 'arrange, purchase and facilitate' the large-scale importation of drugs into the country.

The fourth and oldest Ibrahim brother, Hassan, is currently in jail on weapons charges.

For police, the raids and international sting are a victorious strike on the elusive Ibrahim family. Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan described recent happenings as "a huge blow to their criminality."

"This is only the beginning," says Gaughan. "We are aware that there are other Australians, organised criminals, who operate globally in other parts of the world. The message for them is: we know who you are."

He goes on, "It might take us a while to bring you to justice, but our international partners one day will come knocking on your door."

With AAP.