A federal police raid on the eastern Sydney suburbs office of property development firm Rommark turned violent on Wednesday when company director Michael Teplitsky allegedly crash tackled a photographer and was handcuffed in front of horrified shoppers.
Australian Federal Police officers raided the company's Double Bay office on Wednesday morning, as officers conducted raids across Sydney as part of a wider investigation into an alleged $165 million tax fraud syndicate.
Nine people were arrested on Wednesday as part of that investigation, including Adam Cranston, the son of Australian Taxation Office deputy commissioner Michael Cranston. He is due to face Central Local Court on Thursday.
Mr Teplitsky, 48, was arrested during the dramatic operation after he allegedly attacked a photographer who was documenting the raid and had to be subdued by six officers.
His new girlfriend, socialite Olivia Korner, allegedly pulled the hair of a Fairfax reporter and screamed at officers outside the mezzanine office, prompting shoppers to flock out of the clothing boutiques downstairs.
However, it's understood the AFP investigation is not aimed at Rommark's multimillionaire directors, Mr Teplitsky and 50-year-old Boris Markovsky, but, rather, someone associated with them or their business.
Fairfax Media does not suggest the pair have any knowledge of, or involvement in, the alleged misconduct.
It's understood Mr Markovsky opened the door to plainclothes police on Wednesday with his morning coffee in hand.
Officers searched the premises late into the evening, sorting through files and reading piles of documents.
While the operation was under way, Mr Teplitsky invited a Fairfax reporter into the office to ask questions. However, police said no one was allowed in.
Mr Teplitsky then said "if that photographer doesn't stop taking my photo in one second I'm going to lose it" and "I don't care if [the police] are here, I will do it".
He then ran over to the photographer and allegedly tackled him to the ground.
About 10 officers ran out of the Rommark premises, with some yelling at Mr Teplitsky to stop resisting arrest.
Mr Teplitsky's sister, Victoria, and Ms Korner tried to intervene to stop the arrest, screaming "he's not resisting" and "get off him".
Another man threatened Fairfax Media outside the building, grabbing a mobile phone and saying "you don't want to mess with us".
It's understood Mr Teplitsky was taken away in handcuffs to calm down and later released without charge.
Police remained tight-lipped on the investigation on Wednesday, but confirmed that "a number of search warrants are being conducted in Sydney as part of an ongoing investigation".
On Thursday morning, the AFP said it had smashed a $165 million tax fraud syndicate. Nine people had been arrested following a large-scale investigation, the AFP said. It is due to provide an update on the syndicate and the arrests on Thursday morning.
Ukrainian-born Mr Teplitsky and his wife, Angela, bought "Aussie" John Symond's Point Piper penthouse for $13.3 million earlier this year.
However, the couple have since initiated divorce proceedings.
Rommark advertises itself as Sydney's "prestigious boutique developers" behind projects including The Gallery at Double Bay and Genoa of Bondi Junction.
Mr Teplitsky's vast portfolio of developments includes the forthcoming 19-storey luxury 8Hotel on Wentworth Avenue in Surry Hills, and the century-old 100 Harris Street building in Pyrmont, occupied by Fairfax Media's real estate site Domain.