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.
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).