Also nabbed by federal police was Mark Bryers, a notorious former bankrupt from New Zealand, and three other men.
All are alleged to be members of a major crime syndicate who have been charged with tax fraud and money laundering.
Tuesday’s arrests blew the lid on the alleged criminal network, which has been operating for at least two years.
It is alleged that $17 million that should have gone to the Australian Tax Office was instead laundered through offshore companies and used to fund extravagant lifestyles, which included luxury cars and properties.
The arrests were the culmination of an 18-month joint investigation by a combined task force of the Australian Federal Police, the ATO and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
The two women have been charged with money laundering in relation to the Singaporean companies. A 60-page police fact sheet indicates the offshore companies were used to launder money.
The alleged principal, Mr Alex, 49, and his son were arrested at a leased waterfront home in Surfers Paradise. Also arrested nearby was Mr Loccisano, 50, while his wife was arrested at their five-bedroom home in Thompson Street, Earlwood.
The couple rent the house from 22-year-old Arthur Alex who purchased it two years ago for $2.35 million.
As well as the arrests, Operation Bordelon has frozen 65 bank accounts, two of them offshore, issued restraining orders on 12 properties and seized 17 motor vehicles including three Range Rovers and a Porsche.
Police have alleged the syndicate used construction labour-hire companies and associated payroll operators to defraud the ATO by failing to remit Pay As You Go tax payments and GST.
Mr Alex has remained an undischarged bankrupt since 2011 due to his failure to provide information to his bankruptcy trustee.
Evidence was given in 2015 at the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption that despite being bankrupt, Mr Alex controlled a number of labour-hire companies which were paying money to the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union for favourable construction deals.
Ms Hall, a make-up artist, was wearing a white puffer jacket and grey tracksuit when she was taken from her Greystanes residence in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Her $300,000 Range Rover was also seized.
Her husband, Michael Ibrahim, is serving a 30-year sentence for conspiring to import more than 1.7 tonnes of MDMA, 136 kilograms of cocaine and 15 kilograms of methylamphetamine.
Money allegedly laundered through the two Singapore companies – Permaform International Licencing and Stanton Oxford Funds Management – included funds used to buy a $1.9 million Surfers Paradise apartment for George Alex.
The purchase was made using a company controlled by Gordon McAndrew, 58, another of those arrested on Tuesday.
The Hanlan Street apartment, which has been used as a safe house for the syndicate, was where federal police arrested another of the alleged conspirators, Adrian Metly, who has links to outlaw bikie gangs.
Metly, 42, from Auburn, has been charged with dealing with the proceeds of crime. Also known as Radwan Zraika, he was previously found not guilty of conspiracy to murder charges and in 2017 he survived an assassination attempt despite being shot in the head at home.
One of the key syndicate members, Mr Bryers, 62, is alleged to be one of New Zealand’s most famous former bankrupts. With debts of $220 million, his 2009 bankruptcy was one of the largest New Zealand had ever seen.
The following year he was fined $35,000 and sentenced to 75 hours of community service after pleading guilty to a raft of charges including failing to comply with financial reporting rules relating to his failed Blue Chip group.
Police have placed a caveat on a house in Stratford Street, Cammeray, which Mr Bryers and his partner Catrina Bleicher are renovating.
Mr Bryers, who is alleged to have been providing tax structuring advice to the syndicate, was introduced to Mr Alex by another alleged conspirator, Lucas James Connell. The 47-year-old was arrested at a multi-million dollar waterfront home at Burraneer in Sydney’s south.
Search warrants were also executed at the Moorebank office of Permaform International, one of the companies at the centre of the alleged scheme, which provides prefabricated concrete for building sites.
One of Permaform’s shareholders, Lindsay Kirschberg, 61, was arrested at his Wollstonecraft home on Tuesday morning. Police allege that the shadow owners of the company are Michael Ibrahim and George Alex.
Mr Kirschberg was described in the 2015 royal commission as a “financier” of Mr Alex’s labour hire business.
Another of those to be charged is Kevin McHugh, a Queensland labour hire veteran, who is alleged to have been involved in the payroll companies in Mr Alex’s scheme.
Mr McHugh, whose birthdate is listed on corporate records as July 12, 1951, 1952 and 1954, once signed a deed to pay Mr Alex and his sidekick Joe Antoun $6.2 million for making defamatory statements about the pair.
A court later found the payment was related to Mr Alex’s labour hire companies and was recorded as a defamation payout to avoid distribution to Mr Alex’s creditors. It would have been the largest defamation payment in Australia, but there were no details provided as to exactly what hurtful things were said about Mr Alex and Mr Antoun, a Federal Court judge heard.
In August 2016 Justice Bernard Murphy found the defamation arrangement was “a sham” and that Mr Alex’s reputation would have been difficult to damage as the evidence suggested Mr Alex was “closely associated with violent criminals in Sydney, and members of bikie gangs”.
One of those “violent criminals” was his business partner Mr Antoun, an enforcer who had been jailed several times. The court heard Mr Antoun was gunned down in his driveway in December 2013.
Another associate was mafia figure Pasquale Barbaro, who was murdered as he got into his Mercedes Benz after visiting Mr Alex at his Earlwood home in November 2016.
Other colourful figures were spotted at the Larkhall Avenue home over the years including terrorist Khaled Sharrouf, who was there several times a week to do boxing training with fellow terrorist Mohamed Elomar.
In 2014 Sharrouf, who joined Islamic State, posted the now infamous image of his seven-year-old son holding the severed head of a Syrian soldier. Both father and son are now believed to be dead.
In 2015 the trade union royal commission heard that construction union boss Darren Greenfield regularly visited Mr Alex’s Earlwood home to collect $2500 which the commission heard Mr Alex would leave for him in a drawer in the bathroom.
Although the commission recommended the DPP consider criminal charges against the pair, no charges were laid.
The commission heard that because of his bankruptcy, Mr Alex could not be a company director.
Instead, he ran a series of labour hire companies through fronts. One after another the companies failed, leaving workers and the tax office out of pocket. But there was always another company, often with a similar name, set up to continue business.
Despite this practice of “phoenixing” being the scourge of the construction industry, the commission found in its final report that the CFMEU was happy to turn a blind eye to Mr Alex’s alleged activities because of the cash payments he was making.
By Tuesday’s end 12 people had been charged over the alleged multimillion-dollar syndicate. Most spent the night in custody. Ms Hall was released on $100,00 bail on Tuesday night. A twelfth person, William Pahl from Canberra, was issued a court attendance notice.
Ms Rostron was expected to be released on bail on Wednesday morning. Seven men will face extradition hearings at Southport Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
with Lucy Stone
Kate McClymont is an investigative journalist at The Sydney Morning Herald.
Lucy Cormack is a crime reporter with The Sydney Morning Herald.