Prosecutors warned that, given Mr Sayour is alleged to have been acting on Mr Ibrahim’s instructions in the alleged criminal behaviour, any ongoing contact between the pair risked a crime being committed or interference with evidence and witnesses in the legal proceedings.
But the magistrate said she could not “cut [Mr Sayour] off completely from a family member in circumstances where this could go on … for a couple of years”.
“It could be two or three years before he is allowed to see his uncle,” she said.
Under the bail conditions imposed on Tuesday, he will only be permitted to speak with his uncle on the phone twice a week – between 12pm and 5pm on Tuesdays and Saturdays – and they are not permitted to discuss the court case.
The court was also warned Mr Sayour was a flight risk and, while international travel was difficult, “people can disappear into the Australian community” and be difficult for police to track down.
The magistrate ordered that Mr Sayour, currently based in Merrylands, would have to report to Parramatta police station four days a week.
Police allege the scheme involving the 13 co-accused took money that should have gone to the government and laundered it through offshore companies to fund extravagant lifestyles, including luxury cars and properties.
Mr Soukie told the Herald it was “regrettable” that police had taken over a year to commence proceedings against his client.
“No explanation has been offered or provided for the reasons underpinning the delay in commencing this prosecution. Mr Sayour vehemently rejects the allegation that has been levelled against him and intends to defend the charge,” he said.
AFP commander Kirsty Schofield said investigators had spent much of the past year probing the complex scheme.
“The AFP is committed to out-working and out-smarting these organised crime groups, and part of that is targeting them at their most vulnerable, namely when they try and legitimise their illegally-obtained proceeds of crime,” she said.
“Our specialist investigators want to identify all criminality in this complex scheme, and that’s why another man will be facing the court on a very serious charge.”
ATO deputy commissioner Will Day, chief of the multi-agency serious financial crime taskforce, said the charging of Mr Sayour demonstrated commitment to holding financial criminals to account.
“Tax crime comes at an expense to the community, it takes away money that could be used to fund essential services. The SFCT is fighting back against these criminals, and we’re not stopping,” he said.
The matter will return to court on August 24.
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