A senior Sydney underworld figure jailed for hiding hundreds of thousands in profits and dodging a victim’s compensation payout for 15 years has been released.
Comanchero sergeant-at-arms Tarek Zahed, 39, was led away from the Downing Centre Local Court in handcuffs by three court sheriffs with six police riot squad officers on hand last Friday but only endured a short time in custody.
Court records state Zahed, whose violent criminal history and underworld links prompted the police response, was released on bail the same day pending an appeal against the conviction lodged in the District Court.
Zahed was last week jailed for 16 months for hiding $191,000 of profits in bank accounts under the names of young family members.
His defence barrister Peter Lange had previously argued the money came from him buying and selling cars.
However, the court was told Zahed still has access to the funds and they had not been forfeited.
He had also pleaded guilty to making a false statement in which he claimed he was a broke delivery driver earning $450 a fortnight to avoid paying a victim of a shooting which occurred 15 years ago.
The court was told Zahed had access to close to $1 million in various bank accounts.
His lawyers said he had since paid the money and had made the claims in order to pay it off in instalments.
In sentencing Zahed to one year and four months in jail over dealing with proceeds of crime and making a false statement, Magistrate Jennifer Giles said he “seemingly doesn’t deny” his senior ranking within the gang.
Zahed was released just hours after being jailed and his appeal will be heard in the District Court on October 29.