Salim Mehajer Refused Bail Over 'Staged' Car Crash
Controversial businessman Salim Mehajer faces criminal charges for allegedly staging a Sydney car crash to prevent a court matter from going ahead.
The 31-year-old was on his way to face charges related to the assault of a taxi driver in October last year when his Mercedes AMG collided with a Mitsubishi Outlander at an intersection in Lidcombe.
He was freed by firefighters and taken to hospital, while his passenger and the occupants of the other vehicle - two women aged 31 and 32 - were not injured.
A police strikeforce investigated the crash and on Tuesday morning Mehajer was arrested at a home in Vaucluse, while a 28-year-old man was also arrested at a Lidcombe property.
The 28-year-old is Mehajer's friend and business associate Ahmed Jaghbir, who is defending an unrelated murder charge following the shooting death in March last year of Sydney underworld figure Kemel Barakat.
Mehajer and Jaghbir were taken to Waverley and Bankstown Police Stations respectively and detectives said they would be charged with perverting the course of justice and conspiracy to cheat and defraud.
Detective Superintendent Philip Rogerson said there was an alleged conspiracy between the parties.
"I can say that the pervert the course of justice (charge) was in relation to the court matter on that particular day," he told reporters outside Auburn Police Station on Tuesday.
"The cheat and defraud (charge) is in relation to the insurance culminating out of the car accident."
Two other people - a 30-year-old man and 31-year-old woman - were arrested in Lidcombe and will be charged with conspiracy to cheat and defraud.
Det Supt Rogerson declined to say whether money was exchanged prior to the crash, but said detectives had gleaned a sufficient amount of evidence.
"I can say that we've got witnesses, but I can't say any more than that," he said.
In October, police confirmed they were investigating allegations companies linked to Mehajer were involved in car insurance fraud.
His lavish Lidcombe mansion, which he now rents, was raided by detectives in November over what was described as an ongoing investigation.
Det Supt Rogerson said those charged face "lengthy" prison terms if convicted.
"It's not acceptable," he said.
"It's not acceptable to the police and in particular the emergency services who freed them out of that car and obviously the insurance companies and people like yourselves who have to pay premiums."
Mehajer, who once had aspirations to be prime minister, was thrust into the spotlight after his opulent wedding in August 2015 when he shut down a street in the suburb of Lidcombe.
Jaghbir was appointed sole director of Mehajer's new wedding business, Mehajer Wedding and Event Planning, last September.
Mehajer, the former deputy mayor of Auburn, is the sole shareholder of the business.