Billionaire’s granddaughter victim of Ibrahim ‘prank’
For three decades, Sydney has regarded the House of Ibrahim with fear and fascination.
Now, for the first time, we take you inside the private world of this complicated family thanks to an enormous cache of surveillance material tendered to a NSW court.
There are more than 880 phone calls and texts that were covertly recorded by police over more than a year, revealing the truth about feuds, grudges and family lore, including the secret tunnel under patriarch John Ibrahim's Eastern Suburbs mansion.
There are hundreds of police photos taken inside Ibrahim homes during police raids, and an even larger collection of surveillance photos taken by police tailing family members and associates through the city's streets.
The material sheds new light on the family's networks, reaching beyond brothers John, Fadi, Michael and Sam to the far reaches of entertainment, night-life, property and crime. On their private calls, the brothers and their associates detail their rivalries and power struggles, as well as moments of "us against the world" camaraderie and black humour.
An Ibrahim hanger-on posed as cop with fake police lights on his car so he could pull over the daughter of a Sydney shopping centre magnate.
It was one of the more unusual stories police heard as their investigation came to a close.
They interviewed private investigator Matthew Seagg who relayed to them a story Jaron Chester told him of pretending to be a police officer to make a traffic stop on Claudia Lowy, the granddaughter of Westfield boss Frank Lowy.
This was all while Chester was driving his mother's Audi.
Mr Seagg told police Chester had relayed to him that Michael Ibrahim was also in the car.
It annoyed the private investigator because it came at a time where Chester was supposedly afraid of Ibrahim and had been asking Mr Seagg for help.
"Also he was stupid for pulling over Claudia Lowy because I know she has a GPS tracking duress button in her car," Mr Seagg told police.
Mr Seagg said he had previously seen Chester's police lights in the car and they were located on the dashboard and could be plugged into the cigarette lighter.
Chester later told the investigator the real police confiscated the fake lights when he was pulled over for driving with a suspended licence.
Chester has not been charged over this incident.