A Sydney real estate mogul who was arrested for his role in the arson attack that destroyed a multi-million dollar mansion near the Sydney Harbor Bridge has been released on bail.
A waterfront home on Cliff Road in Northwood, on Sydney’s lower North Shore, was reduced to charred rubble after a fire in September.
NSW Police said at the time the fire was being treated as suspicious.
Property developer Steve Nassif was one of two men arrested Wednesday after arson squad detectives searched his home in Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains.
A 69-year-old man was taken to Katoomba Police Station and charged with destroying or damaging company property with fire or explosives.
Police claim Nassif had business ties to Ouyang “Owen” Chen, the owner of the seven-bedroom Northwood home, fund manager and property developer.
Mr. Chen, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing, bought the house in 2021 for $24.1 million.
Nassif appeared in Penrith District Court on Thursday and was released on bail after offering a $200,000 bond.
He has to report to the Katoomba police station daily from 8am to 8pm, surrender his passport, and is subject to strict conditions of not entering the international airport or departure point.
Nassif is also under a curfew from 9:00 pm to 6:00 am and is not allowed to have contact with accomplices or victims.
He is not allowed to approach or contact prosecution witnesses and has only one mobile phone.
Police also arrested 20-year-old Adams Kipkosgei Brett from his home in Punchbowl, west of Sydney.
He was also charged with destroying or damaging company property by fire or explosives.
Brett has not filed a petition.
Both will appear in Bankstown District Court on January 12.
Police released images of a Toyota Hiace van earlier this year, which they say helped make the arrest.
Shortly after 11:00 p.m. on September 3, emergency services rushed to Cliff Rd’s home after more than 30 calls to Triple 0.
Firefighters found a house engulfed in flames about 20 meters high.
Up to 50 firefighters and 12 trucks responded to the fire as it was a major concern spreading to adjacent facilities.
But firefighters were able to fit it within the 4,847-square-meter lot and put out the blaze within two hours.
The manor-style home boasted stunning views of the Lane Cove River, Sydney’s CBD and the Anzac Bridge, and had a tennis court, six bedrooms, boathouse, sandstone basement and orchard.
The now demolished house was built in 1915 and is one of the oldest in Northwood.
It was purchased last November for $24 million and was on the market for the first time in 60 years.
https://thewest.com.au/news/property-developer-steve-nassif-released-on-bail-following-arrest-over-alleged-arson-attack-c-9172547 Property developer Steve Nassif released on bail after being arrested on suspicion of arson