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TATTOO parlour linked to Sydney's Kings Cross identity John Ibrahim was approved in error by a council planner because an 11-page objection letter from senior police was attached to the wrong folder.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

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Police objections ... John Ibrahim. Picture: Damian Shaw Source: The Daily Telegraph

A TATTOO parlour linked to Sydney's Kings Cross identity John Ibrahim was approved in error by a council planner because an 11-page objection letter from senior police was attached to the wrong folder.

The application should have been debated at a full council meeting amid fears of an outbreak of bikie warfare but the administrative mistake meant the briefing note was never issued.

Superintendent Sue Waites sent a lengthy objection letter, revealing police intelligence alleged the applicant, Kings Cross Ink owner Mark Alexander-Erber, a business partner of Mr Ibrahim's, was known for bikie affiliations though it was "unclear" at what level.

Mr Alexander-Erber has denied any bikie links.

"Granting late-night trading permits will exacerbate all incidents of anti-social behaviour," Supt Waites said.

"Kings Cross is a well-known spot for OMCG (outlaw motorcycle gang) activity. Drive-by shootings, serious assaults, extortion and drug-related offences have been tied to OMCG members who have links to businesses within Kings Cross.

"Kings Cross police believe the opening of yet another business type which attracts such a criminal element will undoubtedly lead to an increase in crime, a strain on police resources and a heightened sense of fear by residents and community members visiting the area.

"Police were contacted and informed that residents were too afraid to make official comment relating to the opening of this tattoo shop due to fear of reprisals."

Emails reveal senior council staff apologised for the error, describing the incident as "extremely rare and regrettable" and that the planner "accidentally attached the hold tag to the wrong folder cover".

Lord Mayor Clover Moore defended the council's approval in a letter to a local resident, stating: "Criminal and anti-social behaviour is not a planning consideration.

"I share your concerns about the recent reports of violence associated with gangs in Kings Cross. The city is required to assess DAs on planning merit only."

Mr Alexander-Erber said: "Kings Cross Ink stands up to say we are not affiliated, we are not part of organised crime, nor will I ever be.

"I'm sick of this Underbelly talk and rubbish. There are good people running business in the Cross. This is bringing the glitz and glamour from the '50s to the Cross.

"This will change people's perception of tattoo parlours. I urge them to come up and look at what I have created.

"You can't get further away from organised crime. It's a world-class establishment."

Mr Alexander-Erber said Mr Ibrahim was an investor in the business that would "lead the industry in its clean-up".

Mr Ibrahim's lawyer Stephen Alexander did not return calls yesterday.

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A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

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