A PROMINENT Muslim youth leader, who preaches the perils of crime to his community, has been charged with possessing more than $1.5 million worth of cocaine.
Police allege 36-year-old Fadi Abdul-Rahman, who featured in Kevin Rudd's 2020 Summit in 2008 and has been a fighter for justice in western Sydney, was part of a commercial cocaine syndicate that was caught with 5kg of the drug hidden in a chess set.
Abdul-Rahman appeared in the Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday, facing two commercial drugs charges after he was arrested during a police sting at Punchbowl in March. Abdul-Rahman's lawyer Brett Galloway told The Sunday Telegraph he would defend the charges.
"There are no facts which establish any of the offences. . . they are consistent with his innocence or that he was in the wrong place at a bad time," Mr Galloway said.
The courtroom was a world away from when Abdul-Rahman mixed with ex-PM Rudd in 2008 and was a member of the summit's Strengthening Communities, Supporting Families and Social Inclusion Committee.
He became a prominent public figure for his work in steering Lebanese youth away from a life of crime and his work was the subject of SBS and ABC TV documentaries.
According to police documents tendered to court at a bail hearing in April, Abdul-Rahman was one of three men arrested on March 30 at an apartment on Dudley St, Punchbowl.
Police allege Abdul-Rahman and another man were in the process of cracking open the chess set when they were arrested.
Police had intercepted the cocaine, which had been smuggled from the US, and replaced it with an "inert substance", court documents said.
Police also placed a listening device "in the vicinity of the consignment" which allegedly recorded Abdul-Rahman saying: "It's a f . . . . . . . tracker." Abdul-Rahman was charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of cocaine and conspiring to import a commercial quantity of cocaine.
Punchbowl man Ahmad Khodr, 23, was also arrested and charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of cocaine and conspiring to import a commercial quantity of cocaine.
Ibrahim Hamra, 38, of Yagoona, was charged with importing a commercial quantity of cocaine and allegedly supplied the drugs to Abdul-Rahman and Khodr, court documents said.
Abdul-Rahman, a father of four, was one of 1000 Australians chosen to participate in Mr Rudd's 2020 Summit.
He shot to prominence following the 2005 Cronulla riots with his outspoken defence of Sydney's Muslim community. He also set up the Independent Centre of Research -- a Muslim youth centre in Lidcombe aimed at convincing youths to turn away from a life of crime.
He will return to court on July 3.