3.9k Share this
Specialist armed officers who helped deport convicted gun runner Sam Ibrahim back to Lebanon feared his bikie mates would ambush their convoy, tense new police footage has revealed.
The career criminal and brother of Kings Cross identity John Ibrahim was flown out of NSW after serving a five-year jail sentence for conspiring to supply firearms.
NSW Police’s Strike Force Raptor drove the crime figure from Sydney‘s Long Bay prison to the city’s airport in October 2020, where he was transferred into the custody of Australian Border Force officials and then flown to Perth.
Fly-on-the-wall vision of the roughly 10km journey has now emerged for the first time and revealed the ex-motorcyle gang leader had no idea where he was being taken.
‘Where are we going to chief?’ the ex-OMCG figurehead could be heard asking an officer in video broadcast by Channel Seven’s Police Strike Force on Wednesday.
‘We’re at the airport at the moment,’ the driver responds – intent on keeping Ibrahim’s fate a secret to ensure the operation runs smoothly.
Tactical officers tasked with transporting the criminal to Sydney Airport said police had also received reports an ambush was being planned to free Ibrahim.
‘Driving up to the jail I was quite anxious as we received information an outlaw motorcycle gang was coordinating things to break Sam free,’ Strike Force Raptor Sergeant John Cowling said.
Another officer said NSW Police bosses feared the operation was particularly vulnerable during the morning rush hour.
‘I’d be anywhere but the middle lane,’ one could be heard saying over police radio as a Raptor team monitored the operation from a helicopter. ‘If you stop at the traffic lights and two people pull over on either side that’s it.’
Former bikie boss Hassan ‘Sam’ Ibrahim was handed over to federal authorities in October 2020 preparation for his deportation to Lebanon
Sam Ibrahim (left, next to brothers Michael, centre, and John, right), whose younger brother is retired Sydney night club boss John Ibrahim, has lived in Australia since he was a child
Ibrahim was initially sentenced to nine years in jail with a non-parole period of six years and six months for conspiring to supply guns, with that term cut to a minimum of five years and nine months on appeal.
New vision has shown the secret operation to deport Sam Ibrahim. He is pictured in the back of a police paddy wagon as he was transferred to Sydney Airport from prison
He was granted parole in September 2020.
He was arrested in 2014 with his sister, her partner, and former Rose Tattoo drummer Paul DeMarco, after raids in Sydney and the Illawarra uncovered an M1 military-grade assault rifle, a standard rifle, three pistols, two shotguns and 11 handguns.
In 2015, the Department of Home Affairs cancelled his visa under character grounds due to his extensive criminal history, clearing to way for him to be deported upon his release from prison.
Ibrahim has had well-documented past problems with drugs, particular cocaine, as detailed in his brother John’s 2017 memoir Last King of the Cross.
‘Every bad decision, every catastrophe that had fallen upon him and our family, all started after his introduction to cocaine,’ John wrote.
Police bosses feared the operation to deport Ibrahim was particularly vulnerable to attack during the morning rush hour. Pictured is the police convoy leaving Long Bay jail, with the paddy wagon transporting Ibrahim circled in red
‘My brother pressed the “f*** it” button that first line of cocaine he had.’
Lebanon-born Sam, 55, has lived in Australia since he was four, and has children to an Australian wife.
At the time of his release from prison, his cousin – notorious convicted killer Mouhamed Tajjour – said his relative would ‘live like a king’ if deported to Lebanon.
‘My cousin got deported. Lot of people are talking s**t…he’s a multi-millionaire, he will live like a king’s king in Lebanon and most likely travel across the globe,’ the former national president wrote in a post on Instagram.
‘So if anyone think he is suffering lol (laugh out loud). He’s actually most likely deep down happy to be finally free.
‘May his journey be as peaceful as can be. To the haters keep hating.’
Tajjour, who has developed a cult social media following, was raised by the Ibrahim family after his father abandoned him.
He joined the Nomads bikie gang when he was just 15 but struggled to become a full-patched member as his colours were repeatedly taken off him for fighting with members inside the club.
He has remained close with the Ibrahim family, crediting them with his success.
‘They raised me. If it wasn’t for them me and my brother wouldn’t be who we are today,’ he told the Daily Telegraph in 2019.
‘I’m grateful to them. They brought me into this life. We’re still very tight.
‘Just because now I’ve got my own name, I’m a somebody now, I came up through the ranks of the Ibrahim family with my cousins. I don’t forget that. My cousins were the kings.’
Sydney-based convicted killer Moudi Tajjour spoke out about his cousin’s deportation, saying Ibrahim will live like ‘a king’s king’ in Lebanon
One-time bikie boss and gun runner Sam Ibrahim is pictured in June 2014 outside the NSW Supreme Court in Sydney
NSW Police Force’s Strike Force Raptor transported Sam Ibrahim into the custody of the Australian Border Force
NSW Police State Crime Commander Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith said Ibrahim’s departure sent a clear message that organised crime will not be tolerate.
‘A person who for many years has conducted criminal activity with little regard for devastation he has left in his wake, has departed NSW never to return and we hope the community can find solace in that,’ he said in a statement.
The ABF said it ‘takes seriously its responsibility to protect the Australian community from the risk of harm posed by foreign nationals who engage in criminal conduct or behaviour of concern’.
‘Foreign nationals who do not hold a valid visa will be liable for detention and removal from Australia, pending resolution of any ongoing matters with the courts,’ it told AAP.