Disgraced former Auburn deputy mayor Salim Mehajer has been refused bail after being arrested and charged over an alleged staged car crash.
Magistrate Jennifer Giles denied Mehajer bail at Waverley Local Court in Sydney’s east on Wednesday morning.
She refused his application as he had not shown cause as to why his detention was unjustified, meaning the controversial businessman will remain behind bars.
Five other people have been arrested and charged over the incident, including a female driver who police claim was involved in the ‘orchestrated’ collision.
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Disgraced former Auburn deputy mayor Salim Mehajer (pictured in December) has been refused bail after being arrested and charged over an alleged staged car crash
Magistrate Jennifer Giles denied Mehajer (pictured, left, with a police detective after his arrest) bail at Waverley Local Court in Sydney’s east on Wednesday morning
Malinda Moufferrige (pictured) was arrested at a home at Lidcombe with her husband Elias
Tom Hughes, the Barrister acting for Salim Mehajer, addressed the media after his client was refused bail on Wednesday
Police claim Mehajer staged a car crash in Lidcombe, south-west Sydney, in October last year in order to avoid facing court over an alleged assault on a taxi driver.
Mehajer could face a ‘lengthy’ jail term after being refused bail over claims he staged a car crash to avoid an assault case last year.
Police have charged Mehajer with perverting the course of justice and conspiring to cheat and defraud over the two-vehicle collision.
The charge of perverting the course of justice relates to Mehajer allegedly trying to prevent the court case going ahead while the conspiracy charge relates to insurance fraud.
Salim Mehajer at the scene of the accident in Sydney’s south-west on October 16 last year
Police say they have witnesses to the collision and that Mehajer and five co-accused face ‘lengthy’ terms of imprisonment if convicted.
Perverting the course of justice attracts a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.
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.
Mehajer was driving a Mercedes AMG on his way to court to face charges of assaulting a taxi driver on October 16 when his vehicle collided with a Mitsubishi Outlander at the intersection of Nicholas and Delhi Streets, Lidcombe.
Salim Mehajer is helped by paramedics after his car crash at Lidcombe in October last year
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.
New South Wales detectives arrest Salim Mehajer at his home at Vaucluse on Tuesday
Former Auburn deputy mayor Salim Mehajer is taken into custody by New South Wales police
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. Both have been charged with perverting the course of justice and conspiring to cheat and defraud.
Jaghbir appeared in Bankstown Local Court where bail was formally refused. He will appear in the same court on Wednesday.
Mehajer will appear in Waverley Local Court again on Wednesday morning when a decision on his bail application will be made.
Shortly after the arrests of Mehajer and Jaghbir, investigators arrested Elias Moufferrige, 30, and his wife Malinda Moufferrige, 31, at a home at Lidcombe.
Salim Mehajer (pictured) was charged on Tuesday with perverting the course of justice
Ahmed Jaghbir (pictured) was one of six people arrested over an allegedly staged car crash
Salim Mehajer’s friend Ahmed Jaghbir is led away by a NSW detective on Tuesday morning
The couple was taken to Auburn police station, where they were charged with conspiring to cheat and defraud in relation to the crash.
They were granted bail to appear at Burwood Local Court on February 12.
On Tuesday afternoon a 28-year-old Lidcombe man and a 30-year-old Lidcombe woman were arrested at Auburn police station and were expected to be charged with conspiracy to cheat and defraud.
Police said they will allege in court that the October 16 crash was planned, with the group conspiring before and after the incident, and providing fraudulent versions of events to investigators and insurance companies.
Detective Superintendent Philip Rogerson said all those charged faced a ‘lengthy term of imprisonment’ if convicted.
‘I can say that we have got witnesses, but I can’t say any more than that,’ Detective Superintendent Rogerson said.
The Mercedes Salim Mehajer was driving when he collided with a Mitsubishi in October
Elias Moufferrige is arrested at Lidcombe in an operation that also targeted Salim Mehajer
‘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.’
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.
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’.
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
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 inner-west on May 10 last year. He was shot more than a dozen times.
The electrician allegedly posed as a locksmith to help replace a lock on Barakat’s door before reportedly taking a spare key.
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
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