Uncovered: Australian multi-millionaire slumlord's sex lair in Sydney suburbs

By Candace Sutton

Inside this secret shed in the suburban backyard police uncovered a giant TV, recliner chair and a labyrinth of cables connected to hidden cameras in the students' bedrooms. Photo / news.com.au
Inside this secret shed in the suburban backyard police uncovered a giant TV, recliner chair and a labyrinth of cables connected to hidden cameras in the students' bedrooms. Photo / news.com.au

Multi-millionaire Sydney slumlord Masaaki Imaeda has been uncovered as a secret sex pervert with an elaborate camera spy network covertly filming his tenants having sex.

Imaeda, 66, who owns a shipping container shanty town in inner Sydney where there was a fire two years ago, rigged up a secret camera network in other properties he owns, and spied on tenants for his sexual pleasure.

Astonished police uncovered the labyrinth network of cables, hidden cameras, and mirrors in one of Imaeda's slum rental properties which connected to a remote secret room where he viewed his tenants' intimate moments.

Police documents obtained exclusively by news.com.au reveal the discovery of cables snaking through the roof and the floor of a home where the Japanese property mogul secretly filmed couples and young women naked and having sex.

Inside a hidden lair in the backyard of the property, officers found recliner chair set up facing a large television with an Ethernet cable running to it, numerous laptops, SD cards, recording equipment mini cameras and USB drives.

Imaeda, who owns a multi million property empire in Australia, appeared in Campbelltown Court on Thursday, on multiple charges for which he faces up to two years' prison.

He pleaded guilty to three charges of install or use an optical device without consent, adapted to the fabric of a building, and three charges of observe a person in private without consent to obtain sexual arousal.

Separately, Imaeda is already awaiting sentencing for breaches of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act for building his shantytown in Sydney's inner suburb of Alexandria in 2014. The slum came to light when his tenants, who were mainly Asian students, paid to sleep in shipping containers, derelict caravans, and an old bus (all sharing one portaloo) had to flee, and four people had to be rescued when the complex started burning.

After appearing in court with his wife yesterday and tendering an affidavit from his son, Imaeda ran away when news.com.au tried to talk to him outside the court and at one of his properties.

But the case facts obtained by news.com.au reveal that the wealthy slumlord is well known in the Japanese backpacker community for using cameras to spy on tenants for his sexual gratification.

The documents say that Imaeda's secret sex den was uncovered in April this year after a young married couple renting a room in one of his properties found a hidden camera in the ceiling of their room.

The couple had answered one of Imaeda's advertisements on the Japanese website cheers.com.au and agreed to pay $240 a week for the master bedroom in a six bedroom house in an outer Sydney suburb.

Arriving from overseas, the Japanese woman and her husband deposited two weeks' rent in one of Imaeda's bank accounts.

Five days later, on April 16 the wife was scrolling through the internet when she found a Japanese website with a warning about Imaeda.

The warning stated that Imaeda owned multiple Australian properties which he rented to Japanese students and had been installing hidden cameras in the bedrooms.

When her husband returned home that evening, the young woman asked him to check their room.

In the ceiling, the husband found a small hole near the light fitting and a small camera connected to the ceiling light and attached to a cable through the roof.

The couple called police. At the time, Imaeda, who earns an undisclosed sum from his rentals properties, was back in Japan.

Masaaki Imaeda ducking out of Campbelltown Court on Thursday. Photo / news.com.au
Masaaki Imaeda ducking out of Campbelltown Court on Thursday. Photo / news.com.au

Police examined the secret camera and found it was set up to face wardrobe mirrors which take up one whole wall, from the floor to the ceiling.

They found the view from the camera was of the entire master bedroom.

The officers then searched the adjoining bedroom, which had just been vacated by a young female student and found a camera inside a television on top of the wardrobe.

The camera was facing the bed in which the girl had slept.

Police found numerous other cameras around the property and a dome camera inside the garage and outside the front door.

The tenants told police that Imaeda had a small bedroom separate from the house and next to the garage.

Inside that room, police found a monitor and a hard drive which had numerous attached cables which ran through holes cut into the wall and the floor.

The officers moved under the house where they found cables running through the floor up into the room recently vacated by the young woman.

A further search located another hidden camera disguised as a smoke detector in the wall of this room.

The cables ran through the wall from Imaeda's bedroom and connected through the roof to the master bedroom occupied by the couple.

Police then went to a converted shed at the rear of the property, which was used only by Imaeda.

Inside the shed they found a large television set up with an Ethernet cable running to it from the house modem.

A recliner chair was set up facing the television. They found laptops, cameras, recording equipment, USB drives and SD cards and another hidden camera disguised as a smoke detector.

Imaeda also had an open locker with men's clothing hanging in it.

The couple alerted police when Imaeda returned from Japan on April 29.

When officers arrived, a car was attempting to exit the driveway and they arrested him.

In Campbelltown Court on Thursday, Imaeda's lawyer said the property tycoon suffered "from a number of medical issues" which might deem him unsuitable for punishment such as an intensive corrections order.

Magistrate David Degnan told Imaeda, who had a Japanese interpreter in the court, that "the objective seriousness of the offences could include a custodial sentence of ... not greater than two years' imprisonment".

Mr Degnan said a psychological report was being prepared for Imaeda's suitability for a community based sex offenders' program.

Imaeda will be sentenced next month. Police said they feared he could flee the country and had genuine concerns about any students remaining at the residence.

Imaeda has also pleaded guilty in the Land and Environment Court after being charged with two counts of breaching the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act over his slum town premises in Alexandria.

Justice Terence Sheahan has reserved his sentence on these charges for a later date.

- news.com.au

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