New clues to fires at YouTuber’s home

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A YouTuber’s home was allegedly targeted in two arson attacks in November 2022. Picture: YouTube / Supplied

Footage of two cars spotted near the scene of an alleged arson attack on YouTuber Friendlyjordies’ Bondi home has been released one year after the incident.

At about 12.20am on Wednesday, November 23, 2022, emergency services were called to YouTuber Jordan Shanks-Markovina’s Wilga St home after receiving reports of a fire.

The 35-year-old is a political commentator and stand-up comedian who was notably sued for defamation by former NSW deputy premier John Barilaro.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NewsWire Photos NOVEMBER 23, 2022: General scene coverage of the aftermath of a house fire that tore through the Bondi home of Jordan Shanks, otherwise known as Friendlyordies. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Swift
The YouTuber’s Bondi home was involved in two separate fires in 2022. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Swift

While nobody was home at the time of the blaze, the house and an adjoining property sustained “significant damage”.

Police believe the incident was linked to another fire at the same home days earlier on Thursday, November 17.

On Wednesday, police released CCTV footage of two cars, both seen in the vicinity of Shanks-Markovina’s home around the time of the November 23 fire.

One car is a black 2018 Mercedes C200, believed to have been stolen, bearing cloned plates.

The other is a silver 2013 Ford Falcon with a single working fog light and reflective stickers under the number plate.

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Police are searching for two cars, one of which is a silver 2013 Ford Falcon. Picture: Supplied
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The other is a black 2018 Mercedes C200, believed to have been stolen. Picture: Supplied

Both cars were seen travelling from the Campbelltown area through Canley Heights into the West Connex and Cross City tunnel to Bondi.

In the footage, the Mercedes travels north on Rowland Ave towards Wilga St, while the Falcon drives on both Bondi Rd and Glen St.

It’s believed four men with potential links to organised crime networks were in the cars at the time.

Police have confirmed one man is assisting with inquiries.

They have also renewed calls for anyone with information about the whereabouts of the cars or identity of their owners and occupants at the time to come forward and contact Crime Stoppers.

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The YouTuber released a video inside John Barilaro’s rental property in September 2020. Picture: YouTube

Shanks-Markovina’s public feud with Mr Barilaro, which is unconnected to the alleged arson attacks, was sparked after the YouTuber uploaded a video in June 2020 that he filmed inside a rental property owned by the former politician.

During the video the YouTuber accused the politician of corruption.

Mr Barilaro, who claimed the video was “full of racist undertones”, later launched defamation proceedings against Shanks-Markovina in May 2021 that was settled six months later.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA. NewsWire Photos. 03 FEBRUARY 2023 John Barilaro leaves Downing center Court : Picture: NCA NewsWire/ Ben Symons
Former NSW deputy premier John Barilaro did not receive any damages in the settlement. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ Ben Symons

NSW Police also dropped stalking and intimidation charges against Shanks-Markovina’s producer Kristo Langker, who was arrested in his home in June 2021.

Mr Barilaro resigned as deputy premier in October 2021.

In June 2022 it was announced that Mr Barilaro had been appointed as the state’s New York trade commissioner, a position he relinquished just two weeks later following widespread scrutiny.

His appointment was later reviewed by the Independent Commission Against Corruption, which found no evidence of corrupt conduct.