Friday, 30 September 2011

Jury retires to consider bikie brawl verdict


The jury in the trial of seven men charged over a fatal bikie brawl at Sydney Airport has retired to consider its verdict. Hells Angels associate Anthony Zervas died after being bashed and stabbed during a fight between rival bikie clubs at the airport domestic terminal in March 2009. Six Comancheros stood trial for his murder, while a Hells Angels member stood trial for riot and affray. After a four-month trial that heard evidence from airport staff and passengers, Justice Robert Hulme summed up the Crown and defence cases. He directed the jurors to reach a unanimous verdict. The judge told them to be fearless and impartial in reaching it and to make their own assessment of CCTV footage and witnesses. The jurors retired this afternoon and will continue their deliberations in the morning.

Monday, 26 September 2011

GROWING outlaw bikie clubs own sub-machineguns, traffic in illicit drugs and use counter-surveillance equipment.


Guns seized by police in raids on properties owned by outlaw motorcycle club members. Source: Supplied

Victoria Police have seized more than 50 weapons and drugs and cash during more than 52 raids on properties since February.

Alarmingly, a mini sub-machinegun, a pistol with a silencer, assault rifles, Tasers and ballistic vests are among the items seized.

Police have also revealed there have been several shootings involving patched bikie gang members, including that of Fink enforcer Mick MacPherson several months ago.

But intelligence suggests there is no emerging war about to erupt between clubs.

Detective Superintendent Doug Fryer said the number of guns the Echo Taskforce had unearthed was "disturbing".

He said police were serious about making a dent in "1 per cent" bikie gangs (so named because they're among 1 per cent of society said to be outlaws).

"The issue and concern for us is the amount of firearms we've seized in the last six months is really disturbing," Supt Fryer said.

"Every time we're turning a rock over we seem to be finding either firearms, drugs or other criminality.

"There certainly have been some shootings in the last six months, that have gone relatively unreported, of bikies.

"We would surmise that invariably these firearms that we've seized have been predominantly for self-protection.

"Our intelligence suggests that we've got around 24 outlaw motorcycle gangs in Victoria, comprising 26 chapters.

"Police make no apologies for our desire to prevent ... the unlawful activities of (the gangs)."

Offences committed by the gangs have ranged from social nuisance breaches to international organised crime linking with sophisticated syndicates.

Although not all "patched" members of "1 per cent" bikie gangs were involved in crime, pockets of members comprised a criminal element, Supt Fryer said.

Assets could be seized from club members if they were found to be proceeds of crime.

He said that internal fighting within chapters and feuds with other clubs and crime syndicates presented a risk to public safety.

There were agreements between clubs in Victoria, but the gangs were a threat to other organised crime groups, he said.

The State Government is working towards developing laws to combat outlaw bikie gangs.

Dunedin gang members arrested following clash


Armed police have been guarding a residential street in Dunedin overnight after a clash between rival gangs involving baseball bats and guns. Police arrived at the known gang address on Allenby Ave in Pine Hill just after 4pm yesterday after dozens of calls from worried residents. Half an hour later, a gang member was discovered at Dunedin hospital with a gun shot wound to the arm. Ten gang members were taken into custody - five Mongrel Mob members, five Black Power.

Hells Angels and Vagos Motorcycle Gangs Go to War in Nevada Casino

The Hells Angels motorcycle gang is minus one California leader after a wild shootout in a Nevada casino. The Vagos motorcycle gang survived the fight with two members wounded. The violent fight caused the city's Mayor to temporarily declare a state of emergency and stop a biker festival. It wasn't long before a drive-by shooting wounded another biker in retaliation.

Friday night at John Ascuaga's Nugget Hotel and Casino in Sparks, Nevada, was the scene of the bloody altercation between the two gangs. Eyewitnesses say a Hells Angels member fired the first shot and a surveillance video clearly shows a biker shooting wildly into the casino crowd. Police have charged Hells Angel, Cesar Villagrana, with assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a stolen firearm after seeing the video.

According to one witness, the shooting started when one Hells Angel was punched in the nose. He went on to say the biker jumped up with the bloody nose and pulled a gun and fired. The scene must have been horrific and must have scared the casino's patrons into taking cover. When bikers start fight, it's time to take cover.

Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew, age 51, was the member of the Hells Angels killed at the casino. He was the leader of the San Jose, California, branch of the gang. The two wounded bikers were listed as 45-year-old Leonard Ramirez and 28-year-old Diego Garcia, both members of the Vagos. It's a miracle more people weren't killed or wounded. It is a good thing these guys are not better shots.

The casino fight broke out about 11:30 Friday night and by 10:49 the next morning another biker had been shot on the streets of Sparks. The town was hosting a biker festival called "Street Vibrations" where the shooting occurred. A biker was shot in the stomach by someone riding in a black BMW. Reno Police Department Lt. Amy Newman has commented that the second shooting was "definitely" revenge. Could the Hells Angels be in a continuing war with the Vagos? Only time will tell.




Police keep close watch on Ballarat as bikies visit


POLICE hit Ballarat’s streets in force on Saturday night for a high-visibility public order operation, coinciding with a visit from the Finks Outlaw Motorcycle Club. While Victoria Police would not confirm the gathering was a prelude to any increased bikie presence in Ballarat, they said they would continue to maintain increased vigilance over any potential illegal activities. As part of the operation, a Victoria Police marked camera van was parked for extended periods in the northbound lane of Doveton Street, with a clear view down Grainery Lane. Men wearing colours and insignia representing the Finks Motorcycle Club and its supporter groups were seen coming and going from a red-brick building in Grainery Lane during the day and into the night. Several men bearing the club’s insignia also stood at the entrance to Grainery Lane for much of the night. Ballarat police divisional superintendent Andrew Allen said there was no confirmation the Finks were establishing a chapter in Ballarat. He also said it was the “first time there’s been any activity from them” in the area. “I can confirm that a number of people who we believe to be part of the Finks Outlaw Motorcycle Club were visiting a location in Ballarat on Saturday night,” he said. “We believe they’re from a Melbourne chapter.” Superintendent Allen said police were aware of the visit well in advance and involved the state’s bikie-gang taskforce to assist with the high-visibility police operation. “We received some intelligence that suggested members of the Finks might be going to visit Ballarat, so we involved Taskforce Echo,” he said. “The use of the marked police camera van was to prevent and detect offences and it has been quite successful in the past.”

Saturday, 24 September 2011

An alliance of Dhak, the Duhres, and some United Nations gang members may be facing off against the Red Scorpions, the Hells Angels, and the Independent Soldiers.


An alliance of Dhak, the Duhres, and some United Nations gang members may be facing off against the Red Scorpions, the Hells Angels, and the Independent Soldiers.

shooting in Surrey last week that left a gang member critically injured may be linked to the slaying of Jonathan Bacon in Kelowna

shooting in Surrey last week that left a gang member critically injured may be linked to the slaying of Jonathan Bacon in Kelowna last month, police say.

Sgt. Bill Whalen with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit — Gang Task Force said police are looking for a connection between Bacon’s assassination and the Friday 16 shooting of Jujhar Singh Khun-Khun, 24.

“We are investigating links between the two incidents,” he said.

Khun-Khun remains in hospital in critical condition and is a known as a member of the Dhak gang group, which Whalen said are in locked in a battle with the Hells Angels.

Police received a call of a shooting at 9:30 p.m. Friday in the 10100-block of 144 Street. They arrived to find Khun-Khun shot. He was taken to hospital where he remains in critical condition.

On Aug. 14, four people were shot outside the Delta Grand Hotel in Kelowna. Red Scorpion Jonathan Bacon was killed and others were injured, including Larry Amero of the White Rock Hells Angels.

A Gang Task Force media release on Sept. 7 indicated police had information that something retaliatory was going to happen.

“To date, intelligence and information indicates that tensions amongst rival gangs have increased exponentially since the Kelowna shooting and it’s no longer a question of if retaliation will occur, but when,” the task force said. “The potential for a violent reprisal is not restricted to any one community, and can occur anywhere at anytime.”

The release revealed the Gang Task Force had assigned 65 officers to the tensions arising from the Kelowna shooting.
Khun-Khun is no stranger to the media. In 2007 his 19-year-old fiancée was killed when she fell from the moving SUV he was driving. No charges were laid in that case. Later that year Khun-Khun was sentenced to three years in prison for kidnapping and robbing a truck driver. males from the Lower Mainland,

On August 20 2011, Nanaimo RCMP stopped a gray 2008 Acura near the intersection of Victoria Rd and Highway 19A. Khun-Khun and two other men were remanded into custody and charges of Trafficking in a Controlled Substance under the CDSA were laid after officers detected marijuana odors in the car. A search revealed 27.5 grams of crack cocaine, 7.5 grams of marihuana, 108 pills of suspected ecstasy, a radio jamming system, scales and $1,700 in Canadian currency in the car.

Another known gangster, Sukh Dhak was also at the scene when Khun-Khun was shot
Dhak, 27, is the brother of gangster Gurmit Singh Dhak, who was gunned down in October 2010 outside Metrotown Mall in Coquitlam. In the ensuing round of retaliation 10 people were wounded in a shooting spree at the Neighbors Restaurant on Oak Street in December 2010. A party attended by gang affiliates was taking place inside the restaurant at the time. Sukh Dhak had been warned several times by police that he was a target.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Hawi trial nears end


THE four-month trial of former bikie leader Mahmoud "Mick" Hawi, who is charged with murdering a man at Sydney Airport in 2009, entered its closing phase on Wednesday. Mr Justice Robert Allan Hulme began summing up the case to the jury in Sydney West Trial Courts, Parramatta. Hawi, 31, of Bexley, once one of the heads of this area's Comanchero Motorcycle Club, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Anthony Zervas, whose brother was a Hells Angels member. Justice Hulme was expected to continue his summation of the case until Friday, after which the jury will retire to consider its verdict. Five other Comanchero members or associates are also standing trial co-accused of the same murder. During the trial, medical experts gave evidence that bollards, a pair of scissors and a knife found in a drain might have played a part in the death of Mr Zervas. The court heard the injuries he suffered included internal bleeding, stab wounds and a fractured skull and that his head might have been stomped on or hit by a bollard. Justice Hulme said most of the available closed-circuit video footage of the attack was "average" and "quite poor". The jury should not draw any inference from the fact that a particular camera was not working during crucial moments, he said. Justice Hulme said part of the Crown case was that the Comancheros intended to inflict grievous bodily harm on Mr Zervas, who was one of five Hells Angels or associates at the airport. The jury had to decide if there was a joint criminal enterprise. The trial continues. Hire-car driver was drunk A CRONULLA father-of-six who pleaded guilty to a mid-range drink-driving offence allegedly told police who pulled him over for a random breath-test he knew he had had too much to drink. Graeme John Purcell, 58, of Cronulla, was stopped by police in August after attending Cronulla Bowling Club with his wife. His solicitor said the couple had four children still at home and his client relied on the success of a Cronulla car hire business to get "the whole family out of a financial quagmire".

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Gang squad probe car fire-bombing at bikie lawyer's Port Kennedy home


POLICE say they are yet to establish a firm motive after the overnight firebombing of a car at a Port Kennedy property owned by prominent bikie lawyer Malcolm Ayoub. Police and firefighters were called to the house in San Sebastian Boulevard at 12.25am this morning after reports molotov cocktails had been thrown at the house, damaging a car. The house is co-owned by Mr Ayoub, a criminal lawyer who acts for several Rock Machine bikies, including sergeant-at-arms Brent Reker, 26, and Stefan Pahia Schmidt, 25, who is accused of murder after allegedly throwing a man out from an upstairs window of the Ocean Beach Hotel in May. PerthNow understands the vehicle sustained minor damage. On Friday, Reker and another man were convicted extorting $2000 from two young men they claimed were boasting about having links with the Rock Machine. Reker, 26, and tattooist Kyle Adam Barry, 28, were found guilty in Perth District Court of two counts of demanding property with oral threats. It is not clear if this morning's firebomb attack relates to Friday's court verdict or the ongoing tit-for-tat war between the Rock Machine and the Rebels bikie gangs. Assistant Commissioner Nick Anticich this afternoon told PerthNow police were yet to establish a motive for the attack, but officers were focussing on recent court cases involving the victim. ``At this stage, we have nothing concrete as to who has done this or why it has happened,'' Mr Anticich said. Gang Crime detectives were assisting in the investigation, which is being led by Rockingham detectives, he said. ``If strong gang links emerge, then the Gang Crime Squad will take a more active role in the investigation.'' Police have repeatedly warned that the Rebels and Rock Machine gangs are at loggerheads since the Rock Machine set up its national headquarters in WA about two years ago and a Rebels member who was removed from the club later joined the Rock Machine. While police say the feud relates to a turf war over drug distribution networks, those close to the Rebels say the issue is not drug-related but merely a ``clash of personalities'' between members. The Rebels, which has about 50 members and four clubhouses in WA, is Australia's biggest bikie gang. The Rock Machine, a Canadian-based gang, has about 20 known members and a clubhouse in Myaree. The Rock Machine, a Canadian-based gang, is notorious for a violent turf war with the Hells Angels in Canada in the 1990s, which left 162 people dead, including an 11-year-old boy who was killed by shrapnel from a car bomb explosion.

Monday, 19 September 2011

'Bikie links' to torched industrial unit


Police have revealed a property damaged in a suspicious fire in Sydney's west on Sunday night is linked to a motorcycle gang. Emergency services were called to the industrial unit at Mount Druitt about 11:00pm AEST. Police say the blaze caused extensive damage to the ground floor and second-storey office areas. Chief Inspector Bill Pearce says the gangs squad has been called in. "We believe that the premises are owned or leased or rented by persons who are associated with a motorcycle group and as a result of that we're following certain lines of inquiry in relation to the fire which we believe is certainly suspicious," he said.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Explosives, steroids seized in Comancheros bikie raids


 explosives have been uncovered at the home of a Comancheros bikie after police raided two properties in their hunt for a gunman. The raids come after up to five rounds were peppered bullets into a Darch house - where Comancheros bikies live - on Wednesday. Gang Crime Squad detectives today descended on a house in Tangmire Way, Balga where they allegedly discovered 1kg of powergel, an explosive commonly used in the mining industry. Senior police said intelligence suggested the powergel could have had the potential to cause significant damage or even death. ``It's approximately 1kg in weight and could cause extreme damage or loss of life if it was primed and detonated,'' Detective Superintendent Charlie Carver said. A police raid of a gym in Wellman St, Northbridge - which has become the Comacheros' headquarters - allegedly unearthed steroids, including four viles of testosterone and 17 viles of growth hormones. Related Coverage Darch: Bikie war: House, car sprayed with bullets Explosives seized in Bikie raid Bikie war: House, car sprayed with bullets Perth Now, 1 day ago Man faces drug charges after bikie raid Perth Now, 18 Aug 2011 Bikies 'accessing secret police files' Perth Now, 18 Jul 2011 Hells Angel arrested in steroid raids Perth Now, 14 Jul 2011 Bikie 'threatened to shoot victim' Adelaide Now, 8 Jul 2011 No one was at the clubhouse at the time of the raid and police inquiries are continuing into the steroid seizure. Det-Supt Carver said today's action was a direct response to this week's shooting in Darch, but stressed police did not believe the Comancheros were involved in cross-club rivalry. On Wednesday, up to five shots were fired into a house and car in Matlock Heights, Darch, around midnight - fuelling bikie hostilities. The front door and a front window of the house were damaged in a hail of bullets, along with a white car parked in the driveway. Two men and a woman, who police say have links to the Comancheros, were inside the house at the time but were not injured. ``We know that bikies by nature are fighting for drugs, supremacy, territory and monies,'' Det-Supt Carver said. ``They are a fledgling club and they are trying to establish themselves and obviously that causes conflict.'' A 27-year-old Balga man, a Comancheros nominee, has been charged with possessing explosives. No one has been charged over the Darch shooting. The Comancheros, a notorious gang in New South Wales, have been attempting to gain a foothold in WA for 18 months. The gang is renowned for violence, including the brawl at Sydney airport last year which left a Hells Angels associate dead, and the infamous Milperra massacre in 1984 in which seven people were killed. But Det-Supt Carver said police were winning the war on bikies in WA, saying there were nine gangs in WA in 2007 and now there were just six. He said police had all but decimated the Rock Machine and had temporarily dismantled the Finks with five members jailed over the Kwinana Motoplex brawl in October. Comancheros from Sydney and Melbourne have moved to WA to help recruit locals to the gang, he said. In February, police uncovered more than 50 sticks of powergel and detonators during a raid of the Rock Machine's Myaree headquarters.

Bikies love to fortify their clubhouses with large gates, reinforced doors and state-of-art electronic security.


TRADITIONALLY most police don't like working on bikies and for good reason. The gang leaders are usually cunning, ruthless and a little whiffy in the armpit department. The Special Operations Group, on the other hand, always enjoy a good bikie raid as it gives them a chance to use their extremely impressive armoury of boys' toys. Bikies love to fortify their clubhouses with large gates, reinforced doors and state-of-art electronic security. Police have even seen some of them wearing infra-red night goggles while patrolling their compounds. Advertisement: Story continues below Bikies usually need such security to protect themselves from other gangs, but this creates problems when police wish to make unannounced visits. Enter the SOG (both figuratively and literally) with the answer. Once it was as easy as attaching a heavy chain to the gates and gunning the four-wheel-drive. Then they needed an industrial-strength bobcat. Now they think laterally to gain access. Such as when one gang barricaded the doors, the boys-in-black used a small amount of plastic explosives to blow a big new entrance in the side brick wall. And they didn't even charge for the ad-hoc renovation. Once an outlaw motorcycle gang leader spotted a former SOG member in a rare off-duty moment at an inner-suburban pub. The bikie suggested the policeman was not so tough now that he worked in the divisions and no longer had access to his black bag of tricks. He then suggested they continue discussions outside. The result was the bikie woke to find his jacket displaying the club colours had been replaced by a plain hospital gown. And the next man he saw wearing a mask was not a gang brother with a knife coming to his rescue but an orthopaedic surgeon with a hacksaw planning to reset several shattered bones. So what's the big deal with bikies? (And before every ''bad dude'' with a pair of leather pants and a 100cc step-through scooter splutters on his multi-grain cereal, we are talking about outlaw motorcycle gangs.) In Victoria, there are only 700 or so patched members in 24 gangs split into 56 chapters. On pure numbers they would lose a war with Rotary - particularly if the Rotarians were armed with that blue cheese they serve at monthly meetings. The Hells Angels was the first of the major groups to gain a foothold in Australia when a small chapter with 11 members was formed in Melbourne in the early 1970s. By 1977, according to a secret police report, they ''came under attention of the police for possession of amphetamine''. Soon foundation member Peter John Hill travelled to California, where he visited a prison to see a senior Angel who told him how to make speed. For three years, police say, the Melbourne chapter became the biggest amphetamine producers in Australia. From that point, a litany of key bikies have been identified as connected to organised crime and linked to murders, witness intimidation, blackmail, drug manufacture, industrial standover work and firearms trafficking. Then something strange happened. Police, for whatever reason, stopped monitoring the gangs. In recent years bikies have had a disproportionate influence in the underworld and have been able to flout the law with apparent immunity. On club runs they appear to have little regard for road rules and, more disturbingly, the police have done stuff-all to stop them. When your corespondent attended a major bikie funeral a few years back, there was not a policeman to be seen. When the service ended, 400 bikies roared off in procession, with few wearing helmets, giving the impression they were untouchable (and unwashable). Bikie crimes are rarely reported because either the victims are (a) rival gang members who won't talk to police, or (b) members of the public too frightened to make statements. So, without a dedicated outlaw motorcycle gang squad, no one really knew what they were doing. It was an old police trick. If you don't look you don't find the problem, and if you don't find the problem you don't have to respond with expensive investigations. That was until six months ago, when the Echo bikie taskforce was formed. Now the landscape has changed markedly. Police now openly admit that bikies are a potential menace that require active and aggressive investigation. Detective Superintendent Doug Fryer points out that this does not mean harassment, nor does it mean police think most members of bikie groups are up to their hairy armpits in organised crime. (Actually that's not quite right. Many bikies have gone all metrosexual and wax up, so these days they have designer stubble to match their designer drugs.) ''They need to know they will be treated the same as any other group and they must comply with the law,'' Fryer says. Recently the Black Uhlans gang told police they would not be wearing helmets during a major ride following a Geelong funeral. Police gently but firmly pointed out this would be a breach of the traffic code. To back the point, 200 police were assigned for the ride. The bikies wore helmets. ''We now have the numbers to make sure laws will be enforced,'' Fryer says. And these are not empty words. Echo has conducted 50 raids and seized stun guns, rifles, handguns, ballistic vests, stolen bikes, drugs and counter-surveillance gear. And the SOG was able to blast through a triple brick side wall at one club house, which they enjoyed immensely. According to the Echo Taskforce chief, Acting Inspector Chris Murray, the first step is to react quickly to crime ''spot fires'' while developing an intelligence base to target those involved in organised crime. ''We need to actively monitor what is going on so we can investigate serious crime and defuse potential gang wars when there is a build-up in inter-gang rivalry,'' he says. It also, he says, requires a change of attitude within policing to stress that bikies should be treated like anyone else. ''This is not us versus them. So far our approach has been accepted without animosity.'' Not that Echo and the Hells Angels are likely to have a friendly game of croquet any time soon. ''If any of our members are intimidated or threatened there will be consequences,'' he says, adding quickly, ''Within the law.'' This is a welcome change. Not so long ago a detective who worked on a bikies investigation learned a gang member drove his Harley-Davidson to visit the detective's neighbour at his semi-rural property. He asked for the policeman by his first name, to be told he lived next door. No threat was left but the message was clear: ''We know where you live.'' The new approach is already filtering from Echo to rank-and-file police. Just a few weeks ago a group of Comancheros decided they could ride up an emergency lane without consequences. They were pulled over - by a lone uniformed policeman, who was soon backed by Echo investigators. ''We are training all our members, from recruits up, so they can have confidence in dealing with members of outlaw motorcycle gangs because we are here to support them,'' Fryer says. Asset forfeiture laws will also be used. Unemployed bikies with flash cars and investment properties will soon be asked some stern questions. And if illicit funds have been used to build gang clubhouses, they may be seized. The traditional defence of bikies is to launch a PR campaign to suggest they are rough diamonds who have been badly misjudged. While it is true some bikies collect soft toys for sick kids and are kind to small animals, that hardly outweighs removing a rival's big toe with bolt cutters. After all, Judy Moran could make a mean macaroni cheese but that won't get you to heaven if you kill your brother-in-law. According to Assistant Commissioner Graham Ashton, ''Charity bike runs for example are used to create the impression in the community that they are misunderstood motorbike enthusiasts. At the rate Taskforce Echo is currently seizing guns and drugs from these gangs, they are anything but.'' The bikie groups want to present a united front to fight proposed anti-gang laws they claim are biased against them. International corporations know it is vitally important to pick the right ''face'' to promote your image. Nespresso Coffee has George Clooney; Louis Vuitton, Sean Connery; and TAG Heuer, Brad Pitt. The bikies are about to settle on a fellow called Mick MacPherson as their likely spokesman. This is certainly an interesting choice since he has been described as a Finks enforcer who has been questioned over a cocaine importation and, just recently, had the misfortune to be shot in the guts.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Police probe bikie link in shooting


A feud between rival bikie gangs was believed to be behind the targeted shooting of a home and car in Perth's northern suburbs overnight. Detectives this morning are investigating the shooting, which occurred at a home in Matlock Heights, Darch, just after midnight. Serious and organised crime Superintendent Charlie Carver told 6PR Radio the shooting was a targeted attack on the property. Advertisement: Story continues below He said the assailants parked their vehicle at the end of the street before walking up to the home and firing five shots into the home and a car parked in the driveway. Three shots were fired into the front lounge room window, one into a window frame and the fifth into the Nissan Coupe. Two men and a woman, who were believed to have links to the Comancheros outlaw motorcycle gang, are still being interviewed by police at the property. Inspector Mal Anderson said the two men were known to police and were not cooperating with investigating officers. A .45 calibre handgun was suspected to have been used to fire five shots into the front of the home and a car parked outside Inspector Anderson said neighbours reported hearing loud voices shortly before the shots were fired. A number of spent cartridges were found outside the home and will be subject to examination. Inspector Anderson said police would be searching for the occupants of a dark red Toyota Hilux that was seen leaving the scene without its headlights on. Neighbours were said to be shaken after the shooting with one witness telling Channel Ten the street was generally quiet although the same home had been targeted in a break-in several weeks ago. Windows were reportedly smashed in the break-in at the property however it was not clear if that was related to the shooting. Major crime squad and forensic officers were at the property this morning and the organised crime squad has also arrived at the scene adding further weight to the claims the shooting was related to a bikie feud. One neighbour told Channel Ten three people were seen running from the property shortly after the shots were fired, before fleeing in the Toyota Hilux. Channel Ten reported the home had high security, including several cameras, installed outside the property. Police were expected to make a statement on the incident shortly.

Puddy in heated call to murder-accused


The best mate of missing multimillionaire businessman Craig Puddy has told a Perth court of a heated phone conversation between Mr Puddy and the bar manager accused of killing him. Cameron James Mansell, 39, is on trial in the West Australian Supreme Court for the murder of Mr Puddy, 45, who has not been seen since May 3 last year when he was allegedly killed in his $3.5 million Mt Pleasant home. Mr Puddy was part-owner of a bar called Basement On Broadway, in which he had invested $700,000, and Mansell was the manager. Defence lawyer Anthony Eyers has said Mansell fled the state after witnessing a "brutal" attack on Mr Puddy over a drug debt. But Prosecutor Bruno Fiannaca alleges Mr Puddy and his business partner, Martin Rogers, believed Mansell was mismanaging the bar and stealing money from the safe, which led to a confrontation between Mr Puddy and Mansell. Mr Puddy's "best mate" Paul Vesa told the court on Wednesday he was present on the morning of May 3 when Mr Puddy took a call from the National Australia Bank telling him the rent on the bar had not been paid and the bank was going to foreclose on the lease. He said Mr Puddy left a message for Mansell and called Mr Rogers to ask him why the rent had not been paid. When Mansell returned Mr Puddy's call, Mr Vesa heard his friend say, "Oh, you decide to f***ing ring me now?" Mr Vesa also said Mr Puddy seemed in "disbelief" that Mansell had suggested money was missing from the bar safe because Mr Puddy had taken it. Mr Puddy's sister, Nadine Puddy, told the court earlier on Wednesday that although her brother used cocaine and ecstasy "on social occasions" he did not like to associate with drug dealers. Ms Puddy said her brother became involved in the bar as an "indulgence" but he became unhappy about the running of the bar and wanted to sell it. Ms Puddy, her mother, Mr Vesa and a few friends went to Mr Puddy's house on May 4 after no one had heard from him since the previous night. She saw "bright red spots splattered" on a wooden chopping board in the kitchen, and when she looked up to the ceiling, she saw what she knew for sure was blood. The prosecution alleges Mansell hit Mr Puddy on the head with a blunt object at least twice before putting his body in a wheelie bin and disposing of it at an unknown location. The trial before Justice Michael Murray and a jury continues.

Police blast bikies' recklessness after shots fired


Neighbours on a quiet Darch street feared for their lives after shots were fired at the home of a Comanchero bikie gang nominee early yesterday. Det-Supt Charlie Carver said that two men and a woman, aged in their 20s, were watching TV in a back room of their Matlock Heights home just after midnight when three men tried to force their way inside. The trio fired up to five shots at the front door and window and at a car parked outside. "They are co-operating to a certain extent but I will say the code of silence . . . involved in organised crime is prevalent," Det-Supt Carver said. One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said she ducked inside her house as the shots were fired. "We heard yelling and screaming, and banging on windows and doors, then we heard one gunshot and three quick ones," she said. "My husband called the police. When we came back to the window to have a look, they were gone." Det-Supt Carver said there were up to a dozen security cameras around the heavily fortified house, and windows and doors were fitted with security mesh. He slammed bikie gangs for their disregard for the safety of the community. "There have been numerous incidents where they use firearms with no regard for other people," he said. Det-Supt Carver said that the Comancheros did not have a big presence in WA. Police are looking for a vehicle described as a dark red HiLux-type utility with shiny bar work on it.

Monday, 12 September 2011

THE Labor Party pub in South Australia that hosted strippers and welcomed bikies has closed and may be sold.

colac hotel

The Colac Hotel in Port Adelaide. The Advertiser

ALP state secretary Kyam Maher said the party terminated the lease of the Colac Hotel in Port Adelaide because tenant Goldedge Holdings had failed to pay rent and had not responded to formal notices for payment. He said the pub would remain closed until the party decided what it would do with it.

"We just don't know what we will do, we will need to get some advice on what all the options are," he said.

Mr Maher confirmed the party was considering selling the property but would consider all options under a review that was expected to take "a few months".

The legal matters surrounding the eviction are being handled by Griffins Lawyers, now headed by former ALP state secretary Michael Brown, who is also a former director of the company that owns the pub.

The ALP bought the pub in the 1970s as a way of securing future income.

Financial returns lodged with the Australian Electoral Commission show the party received $339,961 in rent from the pub between 2005/06 and 2009/10 - although it is expected to have benefited by at least another $80,000 in 2007/08, when no financial return was lodged.

Josip Plesa, the sole director of the evicted tenant, could not be contacted last week and inquiries made of the company's registered office at Goodwood were told Mr Plesa was not known at that address.

Mr Plesa is reported as welcoming hundreds of bikies protesting against anti-association laws with a sausage sizzle in 2009, dismissing any concerns his landlord may have had with his "business opportunity".

The Colac Hotel caused more discomfort for Labor that year when $62,000 was transferred from the hotel to reimburse former federal MP Rod Sawford for costs relating to a defamation case concerning the sale of the Cheltenham Racecourse - branded "an improper purpose" by Labor's State Executive.

The payment sparked the transfer of ownership of the hotel from the party's local branch to the State Executive.

Former state secretary Michael Brown did not end the strip nights once the transfer had been made, saying management of the hotel was the responsibility of the tenant.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Bikie link to pit bull racket


HIGHLY organised criminals including bikies are using pit bulls as weapons amid claims of an illegal importation racket in Australia. At least 100 staffies are allowed into the country each year on little more than a promise they're not pit bulls. Police sources say many pit bulls in Victoria are unregistered and owned by criminals. "They use them like weapons," one source said. "Council rangers won't get close to them." An associate of the Bandidos bikie gang is known to keep one. Criminal sources in Victoria have told the Herald Sun of an international importation scheme whereby pit bulls are brought to Australia from the US. The dogs are described by importers on official Customs papers as staffordshire terriers, whose physical characteristics strongly resemble pit bulls.  The dogs are believed to originate from a pit bull breeder in the Pennsylvania town of Reading. They are promoted online and typically enter Australia through Western Australia, where they are bred and distributed, often to criminal elements, around the country. Customs figures show WA is a key entry point for staffordshire terriers. Last year, 29 of the 102 staffies brought into the country arrived in WA, compared with 16 in Victoria, 15 in Queensland and 31 in NSW. So far this year, 19 dogs have entered Australia through WA - more than any other state. Customs officers require a signed declaration from a vet and from those importing dogs attesting to the breed. The agency was unable to say whether it had ever stopped a pit bull at the nation's borders. The racket exploits confusion over how pit bulls are identified. Revelations of the hardcore criminal aspect of pit bull ownership will test the effectiveness of the Victorian Government's crackdown on dangerous dogs. The Government has set up a dangerous dog hotline, increased penalties and enhanced powers for council dog catchers following the fatal attack by a pit bull cross on St Albans girl Ayen Chol. A 27-year-old man required plastic surgery after a staffordshire terrier mauled him in Berwick this week.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

alleged member of the Notorious outlaw motorcycle gang is due in court tomorrow on charges related to firearms


alleged member of the Notorious outlaw motorcycle gang is due in court tomorrow on charges related to firearms found at a Castle Hill storage unit earlier this year. Gangs Squad detectives who arrested and charged the 24-year-old man allege he is a high-ranking member of the organised criminal group. He is facing several firearm and possession charges as well as drug charges. The charges relate to a search warrant conducted by police at a storage facility in Castle Hill on March 28. Police allegedly found three firearms, loaded magazines, two silencers and a quantity of ammunition. He is due before Penrith Local Court tomorrow. Strike Force Ventilate comprises detectives from the State Crime Command’s Gangs Squad and was established to investigate a number of alleged violent incidents involving Comanchero Outlaw Motorcycle Gang and Notorious organised criminal group members and associates.

Bikie arrested on firearms charge

Bikie arrested on firearms charge

Crime Gangs Task Force members yesterday afternoon arrested a 30-year-old member of the South Australian Chapter of the Finks Motorcycle Gang at his home address at Paralowie.

Police say it is alleged that Crime Gangs Task Force members conducted a search of the man's home where they located a .357 revolver buried in his rear yard.

'During the search police also located a quantity of .357 ammunition buried in another location within the rear yard,' police said.

'The man was charged with firearms offences including possession of a prescribed firearm and possession of insecure ammunition.

'He was bailed to appear in the Elizabeth Magistrates Court on 12 October 2011.

'A 27-year-old woman of the same address was also reported for firearms offences including possession of a prescribed firearm and possession of insecure ammunition and will appear in the Elizabeth Magistrates Court at a later date.'

Seventh man charged over alleged attempted extortion - SCC Gangs Squad


Gangs Squad detectives have charged a seventh man following investigations into an alleged attempted extortion. About 10am today (Thursday 8 September, 2011), a 37-year-old man was arrested by police. Police allege he is an associate of the Hells Angels Outlaw Motorcycle Gang. He was subsequently charged with demand money with menaces and participating in a criminal group. He was granted conditional bail to appear at Burwood Local Court on 28 September. The charges relate to an alleged attempted extortion on 8 July, 2011. Strike Force Embark was established to investigate the circumstances surrounding the alleged theft of vehicles from the Burwood car yard just before 3pm on Thursday 7 July 2011, as well as an attempted extortion on 8 July and an attempted extortion on Monday 11 July.


Monday, 5 September 2011

Book Review: The Brotherhoods: Inside The Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs by Arthur Veno


Believe it or not, those mean, bad-ass outlaw motorcyclists that scare the piss out of middle America are referred to as “bikies” in Australia. I think if you went up to a member of the Hell's Angels in the U.S. and called him a "bikie" you would get your ass whipped pronto. But that is about the only difference between the biker gang member down under from any of his brothers around the world. Professor Arthur Veno has been studying the outlaw bikie phenomenon since 1981, and has been granted remarkable access by the Aussie clubs over the years. His new book The Brotherhoods: Inside The Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs is the result of his research, and provides a fascinating insight into their world. The obvious comparison would be to Hunter S. Thompson’s 1966 Hell’s Angels: A Strange And Terrible Saga. But they are two fundamentally different books. Where Thompson got inside the club out and rode with the Angels, Veno takes a different approach. Although it is obvious that he has gotten to know some members well enough to be trusted with certain things, he is always an outsider. The Brotherhoods certainly does not shy away from the subjects that make the outlaw bike culture so dangerously intriguing. With chapters such as “Bombs And Bastardry,” “On The Nose: Clubs And Drugs,” and “Chicks And Ol’ Ladies,” there are plenty of examples of outrageous behavior. The book has a definite voyeur appeal. While most of us do not wish to live the life, it is fascinating to view from a distance. The look of The Brotherhoods is particularly appealing, for it is filled with pictures. It is so beautifully put together, with a faux leather cover, and tons of photos as to make a great coffee-table book. The tea and crumpets crowd would probably salivate over it too. Ever since The Wild One film, and the emergence of the Hell's Angels, the outlaw bike culture has seemed to be a strictly American affair. The Brotherhoods shows us that the lifestyle has permeated every corner of the globe. It is a captivating study with some amazing photographs, and definitely worth a look.

Rebels bikers spend night at motor camp


Members of the Australian outlaw biker gang the Rebels rode into Taranaki at the weekend. Police say up to 12 bikers, believed to be patched members of the Rebels, arrived in Stratford on Friday, stayed overnight at a motor camp and left the next morning. Members of the public contacted the Taranaki Daily News, believing the police had stopped the gang on New Plymouth's Coronation Ave about 1pm. But that was a different group of bikers of mainly locals, police said. The force was on alert after three Taranaki-based patched Rebels members were arrested last week in a police drug operation. Detective Sergeant Charlie Kawana, of New Plymouth CIB, said police were aware of the group that arrived in Stratford.

NSW businesses warned of travelling conmen


Residents and businesses in NSW are being urged to be on the lookout for travelling conmen and itinerant domestic gangs. A nationwide crackdown aims to have scammers who visit Australia seasonally removed from the country and barred from re-entering, as well as local gangs that travel around conning people. NSW Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts on Monday warned of conmen specialising in scams such as bitumen laying, roof painting and back-of-truck dealings on electronics. "We want to catch these crooks, hold them accountable for their crimes and keep the market fair and free of rip-offs," he said in a statement. "What we are dealing with is organised, criminal activity that creates market distortions as legitimate businesses face unfair competition." The conmen structure their operations so consumers are often unable to get remedies in courts, consumer tribunals or through dispute resolution. They are the focus of a new nationwide strategy finalised at the Ministerial Council on Consumer Affairs in Canberra earlier this year. "All Australian consumer protection jurisdictions are working together under the new Australian Consumer Law with concerted, nationally coordinated operations using new prosecution powers and remedies," Mr Roberts said.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

OUTLAW bikie gangs have been meeting secretly to plan a fightback against new laws and police raids.

Bikie gangs Hells Angels Comancheros

Bikie organisations are meeting to discuss a fightback against new laws.   News Limited

Finks enforcer Mick MacPherson, whose luxury Eureka Tower apartment was raided by police last Friday, is touted to become the official spokesman for the United Motorcycle Council Victoria (UMCV).

It will represent most of the 28 motorcycle clubs across the state.

Notorious bikie gangs including Hells Angels, Bandidos, Comancheros and Rebels are on the council.

Police sources say it is seeking legitimacy by recruiting law-abiding clubs such as the God Squad and Vietnam Veterans.

The Herald Sun can reveal MacPherson and members from other clubs are meeting fortnightly and reporting to other bikies around the nation.

At its last meeting at a Brighton hotel, members of the newly formed UMCV abused and threatened staff and police had to be called.

At a court hearing on Friday, MacPherson was given bail by a magistrate after he was arrested during raids on the Finks' Port Melbourne clubhouse and his rented luxury 38th floor apartment with panoramic views across the city.

Police executing the search warrant allegedly discovered gun paraphernalia and also found MacPherson was suffering from a gunshot wound to the stomach.

Australian Federal Police, assisted by the Echo Taskforce, are investigating MacPherson over a 1.1kg stash of cocaine that entered the country in August.

It was seized from air freight, which arrived in Sydney about the same time as MacPherson was shot in the stomach and turned up at a Victorian hospital.

MacPherson refused to co-operate with investigators about his gunshot wound.

The martial arts expert was said to be annoyed the shooting had interrupted his "ultimate fighting matches".

MacPherson arrived in Melbourne last month from Adelaide after a battle with the South Australian Government over anti-bikie laws.

He was placed on a control order as part of that state's crackdown, but was instrumental in having the laws scrapped in a legal row that reached the High Court.

Victoria did not introduce anti-association laws, which were considered unconstitutional.

But the State Government is working towards a suite of laws to clamp down on outlaw motorcycle clubs involved in organised crime.

Premier Ted Baillieu campaigned for tougher laws at the last election to deter bikie clubs from setting up in Victoria, declaring the state had become a haven for bikies fleeing other states.

Queensland's UMC spokesman Russell "Camel" Wattie said the Victorian council was preparing to fight for their "rights".

"Yes that's right, they're established and meeting fortnightly," he said.

"They're talking about issues down there to fight Ted Baillieu's hard line.

"They are noticing an increase in police attention.

" We need to be prepared ... as soon as the government makes a move."


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