Thursday, 24 November 2011

It's the second fire at a Nomads club in the region in as many weeks.

crime scene has been set up at the Upper Hunter headquarters of the Nomads motorcycle gang after a suspected arson attack overnight.

Fire crews were called to the bikie club's unoccupied headquarters in Bridge Street, Muswellbrook around 2.30 (AEDT) this morning and contained the fire.

Two spot fires were still burning on the front porch of the building when police arrived ten minutes later.

Police say more information about how the fire started will be known once crime scene investigators from Newcastle assess the building later this morning.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Murder trial begins for two Hells Angels, five others


two full-patch Hells Angels, made their first appearance in a Vancouver courtroom Monday for the June beating death of Kelowna resident Dain Phillips. The men - Hells Angels members Robert Thomas and Norm Cocks - as well as Cocks' father Robert, Anson Schell, Thomas Vaughan and brothers Daniel and Matthew McRae were charged with second-degree murder two weeks after the fatal assault on Phillips on June 12. They made their initial appearances in Kelowna Provincial Court, where five of the accused were released on bail. But Crown prosecutors have decided to proceed by way of direct indictment, meaning the case goes straight to B.C. Supreme Court without a preliminary hearing at the Provincial Court level. And prosecutors have moved the case to Vancouver, where the accused appeared Monday in a new high-security courtroom built for an unrelated gang murder case. Crown spokesman Neil MacKenzie said the decision to move the case to the Lower Mainland was made "given the number of the accused, the number of counsel involved and the demands the case would place on court resources in Kelowna." There is a ban on publication of evidence and submissions in the case. Justice Arne Silverman put the matter over until Dec. 19, with a tentative start date for the eight-month trial sometime in January 2013. Thomas, 46, and Norm Cocks, 31, appeared wearing red prison garb from the North Fraser Pretrial Centre, where they remain in custody. The others - Dan McRae, 21, Matt McRae, 19, Schell, 19, Vaughan, 22 and Robert Cocks, 53 - arrived with relatives and supporters, each being directed to seats behind bulletproof Plexiglas. No one from Phillips's family attended Monday. The Vancouver Sun earlier reported that Phillips, a married father of three, tried to intervene peacefully in a dispute two of his sons were having with a pair of brothers with whom they had attended Rutland secondary. When Phillips drove to a meeting place on McCurdy Road in the early evening of June 12, he was attacked by a group of men who had arrived in two separate vehicles. He died later in hospital. Insp. Pat Fogarty, of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, said after the arrests that Phillips was trying to resolve the problem when he was savagely attacked. The elder Cocks is president of a Hells Angels puppet club called the Throttle Lockers, while the four youngest accused were described by police as gang associates. The case is believed to be the first in the 28-year-history of the Hells Angels in B.C. where a club member has been charged with murder.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Meet the man who looks after bikie gangs


Australia - ON a side street tucked away from Fremantle's bustling cappuccino strip, Michael Tudori sips a macchiato washed down with sparkling mineral water - as traditional Italians do. It's a suburb not dissimilar to his childhood, growing up around Northbridge where his father Lawrence and uncle Bert became kings of illegal gambling in the 1970s before Burswood Casino took over the market. "It was a very colourful childhood," Mr Tudori, 40, said. "Northbridge was a great place as a kid. "My Nonna, my grandmother, lived in Parker St. In the back lane there were a whole lot of Italian carpentry shops. You had the Peter's Ice Cream factory in Northbridge. You would go to the Re Store and all the Italian places around. It was a wonderful place as a kid growing up, it was always very colourful and it was safe." It was Mr Tudori's Italian migrant father, an open wariness of police and a keen interest in 1980s courtroom TV drama LA Law that encouraged his entry into law after graduating from John XXIII College in Mt Claremont. "I remember as a child coming home (from school) and I knew I'd cop flak on the bus because Dad had been arrested that night for running the gambling clubs," he said. "We always knew when the clubs were going to be raided. The police would ring us. It was just all part of the process. They would all get taken down to the lock-up. Dad or my uncle would pay away everyone's fines and they would have an after party, a bail-out party. "In those days the magistrate would say: 'Laurie or Bert were you up or down?' If they were down they would keep the fine down, but if they were up that night the fine had to be a bit higher that time. That's just the way that Perth worked in those days. I've seen police corruption first-hand. I've seen police getting paid off in the days before gambling finally became quashed because of Burswood and I think that has always stuck in my mind. Police are fallible. "You get brought up thinking you can always trust a police officer, and you do and you must instil that faith in your children. But time has shown, especially in WA that if anything, the police are the biggest gang in WA."

Biker clubhouse raided in Chatham


Chatham-Kent police seized cash, liquor and beer Saturday while raiding the clubhouse of Canada's oldest outlaw motorcycle gang. The OPP Biker Enforcement and Organized Crime Enforcement units also participated in raiding the Red Devils' Degge Street clubhouse in Chatham. They executed the search war-rant under the Liquor Licence Act. Police seized $2,000 in cash, 13 bottles of liquor and more than 120 bottles of beer. Officers also arrested two men. They charged one with possession of a prohibited weapon and the other with assaulting a police officer. Other municipal bylaw and Liquor Licence Act charges are also pending. Police said last year after a provincewide investigation into an illegal lottery that the Red Devils gang is the country's longest-running motor-cycle gang.

MAN who instigated a shooting at a bikie clubhouse in Geelong and provided the rifle that was used to murder a rival Bandido has had his prison term slashed today.

Ross Brand

Bandidos gang member Ross Brand was killed in a shooting in Geelong in October 2008. Herald Su

The Court of Appeal ruled that the eight-year minimum term imposed on Derek Scott Bedson was "manifestly excessive" and did not reflect the seriousness of his involvement in the death of Ross Brand.

Mr Brand, 51, was shot dead and another man wounded when Bedson's half-brother, John Bedson, a member of the rival Rebels bikie gang, fired a hail of bullets from the back of a utility at the Bandidos' headquarters in Breakwater.

Derek Bedson’s jail term of 12 years with an eight-year minimum was cut to eight years with a five-year minimum.

Appeal judge Justice Peter Buchanan said the shooting had arisen out of an altercation at the Geelong Cup earlier that day between people associated with the two rival gangs.Derek Bedson was told of the fight and became angry that a member of the Rebels had been assaulted and arrested by police.

The Bedsons and other members of the Rebels drove to the clubhouse in the utility looking for revenge, and Derek Bedson brought a .22 semi automatic rifle.

Justice Buchanan said Derek Bedson intended that the clubhouse should be peppered with bullets and the Bandidos placed in fear, but two people had been shot, one of them fatally.

"This was a case where the difference between the level of harm intended by the appellant and the consequences of the actions of his brother were significant indeed," Justice Buchanan said.

The judge said Derek Bedson had good prospects of rehabilitation, a good work history and was well regarded. His prior convictions were minor and he had strong family support.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Attacks on Montreal lawyers lead to mistrial in cabbie murder


Violent intimidation tactics targeting Montreal lawyers appear to be working. A judge declared a mistrial Wednesday in the case of a murdered cab driver after the defence counsel suddenly quit. Joseph La Leggia, said to be despondent over the savage beating last Friday of fellow lawyer Gilles Dore, withdrew "for medical and personal reasons," Judge Michael Stober announced in court. La Leggia had himself been badly beaten outside his home last December, the third lawyer so targeted in the past 12 months. The lawyer represented Nigel John, accused of second-degree murder in the Nov. 2009 death of taxi driver Mohammed Nehar-Belaid. The judge discharged the jury when La Leggia's co-counsel said they couldn't continue in La Leggia's absence. "This is an exceptional situation," said Crown prosecutor Helene Di Salvo. "We never expected that to happen in the middle of the trial, but there were no other options." The legal community has been on edge because of the three unsolved attacks. Last Friday lawyer Gilles Dore was beaten into a coma with a baseball bat outside his Montreal home. He represents three bikers facing trial for murder and gangsterism. Last month, the home of business litigation lawyer Thomas Kiriazi was targeted by Molotov cocktails. On Tuesday, someone left a suspicious package at the home of Montreal civil lawyer Bogdan Catanu. But fears were eased when police said the package was not meant as a threat and was simply an empty suitcase that had been dropped off by a bystander.

Son of Mom Boucher back in jail after Joliette charges


Francis Boucher, the son of notorious Hells Angels leader Maurice (Mom) Boucher, is back behind bars after he is alleged to have violated his statutory release on a 10-year prison sentence. The younger Boucher, known by the nickname Le Fils when he was part of a Hells Angels underling gang, was sentenced in 2002 after pleading guilty to charges filed from Operation Springtime 2001, a major police investigation into the biker gang's Nomad chapter in Montreal. Boucher, 36, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder, drug trafficking and participation in a criminal organization. The charges involved crimes committed during a bloody conflict between the Hells Angels and other organized crime groups in Quebec from 1994 to 2002. Boucher was able to leave a federal penitentiary in 2009, after he reached the twothirds mark of his sentence. The Gazette has learned that he was returned to a penitentiary in Laval this year and is scheduled to have a hearing before the Parole Board of Canada in December. The board is to decide whether to revoke his statutory release officially. His release is believed to have been suspended when Boucher was arrested and charged on Aug. 31 in Joliette with harassment of, and threatening to kill or cause bodily harm to, a woman. According to court records, he has been detained since his arrest by Repentigny police. His next court date in that case is scheduled for Nov. 16. Maurice (Mom) Boucher is serving three life sentences for orchestrating the murders of two prison guards and the attempted murder of another.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Police raid Perth bikie properties


42-year-old Rebels motorcycle gang member is one of three people being questioned by police after a search of his home in Calista, south of Perth. Police say they found a 22 calibre, self-loading handgun, cash, cannabis and a trafficable quantity of what they believe to be methamphetamine during this morning's search of the Edmund Road house. No charges have been laid at this stage. Gang Crime Squad detectives have also raided a home linked to a bikie gang in Morley this afternoon. They say they were searching for stolen motorcycles, firearms and drugs. The raids are part of a continued effort by police to disrupt the activities of motorcycle gangs.

Joseph Patrick John Lagrue handed himself in at Solihull police station in September after the brawl between members of the Hell’s Angels and Outlaws biker gangs

Joseph Lagrue

One of Birmingham’s ‘Most Wanted’ crooks is facing justice over a battle between rival bikers at the airport in which one man nearly died.

Joseph Patrick John Lagrue handed himself in at Solihull police station in September after the brawl between members of the Hell’s Angels and Outlaws biker gangs in January 2008.

Up to 30 people, some armed with hammers, machetes, knuckledusters, knives and a meat cleaver, were involved in the fight following a trip to Spain.

Families of holidaymakers were forced to dive for cover as the violence swept through the terminal.

A police source said Lagrue, 43, understood to be a member of the Outlaws, had played a “key role" in the violence.

But he was not tracked down following the incident and, in January last year, detectives named him as ‘wanted’ and added his face to their website.

A West Midlands Police spokesman said that following his arrest on September 27 he appeared before magistrates in Solihull charged with rioting.

He has pleaded guilty to the offence and will be sentenced later this month.

“Joseph Lagrue was wanted by police in connection since the investigation commenced and our efforts to track him down never ceased,” the spokesman said.

“This was a significant disturbance played out in the full glare of a busy international airport terminal.

"Families returning to Birmingham from their holidays were forced to take cover as two groups attacked each other with gratuitous violence.

“Weapons were produced and used and there were a number of injuries.

“The arrest of Joseph Lagrue brings this significant investigation to a close.”

The mob violence exploded near the arrivals hall of the airport after rival members discovered they were on the same flight from Alicante, in Spain.

Members of both gangs were met by associates, who provided them with weapons, as they arrived at the airport and began brawling in front of terrified families.

Several men were injured and one almost lost his life after suffering a serious head injury.

In July 2009, Neil Harrison, then aged 46, of Bell Green Road, Coventry; Paul Arlett, then 35, of Cradley Road, Dudley; Mark Price, then 50, of Westbury Road, Nuneaton, Warwickshire; Sean Timmins, then 38, of Brewood Road in Coven, Staffordshire; Leonard Hawthorne, then 52, of Penn Road, Wolverhampton; Mark Moseley, then 46, of Orchard Rise, in Birmingham, and Jeremy Ball, then 46, of Plant Street, Cheadle, Staffordshire, were each jailed for six years after being convicted of rioting.

Another man, Mark Larner, then aged 47, of Tudor Road, Upper Gornal in the Black Country, fled to South Africa “with a substantial amount of money” before being sentenced. He later handed himself in to police in Bristol and was jailed in November 2009 for six years.

A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said Lagrue had pleaded guilty and was remanded in custody until later this month when he is due to be sentenced at Warwick Crown Court.

A member of the Hells Angels biker gang, Mazdak Fabricius, is accused of the murder, which was the starting point for a bloody gang war in Copenhagen


62 people were arrested near Copenhagen on Tuesday following a clash between two rival gangs outside a courthouse where a gang member was on trial for the 2008 murder of a young Turk, police said. The people arrested in the Copenhagen suburb of Glostrup had "ties to gangs and bikers," a police statement said. Rival gangs have been battling for years over control of Copenhagen's illegal drug market. According to various media, close to 100 people clashed outside the Glostrup courthouse where the man suspected of gunning down a young Turk in Copenhagen in 2008 was on trial. A member of the Hells Angels biker gang, Mazdak Fabricius, is accused of the murder, which was the starting point for a bloody gang war in Copenhagen. Journalists at Tuesday's scene said members of the Hells Angels and its support group AK81 faced off against the Tingbjerg group, described as the "immigrants."

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Your right to die in a bikie war shootout


AT A guess you could probably assume that none of the High Court judges live in Merrylands, where the Nomads and Hells Angels are engaged in what the police reassuringly describe not as a bikie gang war but merely "tit for tat violence". It is also unlikely that any of these eminent jurists live in Northmead, where an innocent woman had her house strafed with bullets while she was sleeping last week in a zany address mix-up by a bikie who was having trouble reading his UBD. Presumably, none of the judges live in Adelaide's north-western suburb of Semaphore where an 11-year-old boy, the son of a former member of the Finks, was shot in the leg while he slept during a home invasion last month. When the ambulance arrived and the media turned up, bricks were hurled from the home. None of the witnesses to the shooting of the 11-year-old boy would initially co-operate with the police. It was reported however that the Finks had offered their own reward of $500,000 for information on the identity of the shooter. This shooting and its unco-operative aftermath reinforced the fact that members of bikie gangs do not look to the police and the courts for assistance. That's what civilised and law-abiding people do. To this end the police, and particularly the courts, are letting civilised and law-abiding people down. None of the High Court judges could find Merrylands or Semaphore with a packed lunch, a GPS and a team of indigenous trackers. And even the cops seem depressingly ambivalent about what is going on in middle Australian suburbs such as these. Perhaps it was just an unfortunate choice of words but NSW Gangs Squad commander Arthur Katsogiannis seemed too laid-back by half on Sunday in discussing the bikie shootings in Sydney's west, a staggering eight of which have taken place since last Thursday. "If this was a full-scale war between the Nomads and the Hells Angels you would not have the shootings isolated at one particular area, they would be right around the metropolitan area and around the state," he said. No dramas then. But it is the courts which really take the cake on this issue. Just over a year ago the High Court had a chance to seriously disrupt the freedom of bikie gang members to behave in an anti-social and criminal manner. Bombarded by civil libertarian tripe, the court opted to throw in its lot not with the civilised and law-abiding majority but the one per cent "who don't fit and don't care" - to borrow from the Hells Angels' own mission statement. The NSW and SA governments had both passed legislation which would have declared bikie gangs criminal organisations and enabled police to seek orders from magistrates preventing bikies from associating with each other and visiting certain addresses. But this invited the tediously predictable criticisms from academics and defence lawyers along Basil Fawlty lines that this is exactly how Nazi Germany started. One academic warned there was nothing stopping the authorities from using the same laws against the local lawn bowls club or Apex or Rotary. Andreas Schloenhardt, from the University of Queensland law school, fired up at the time: "This legislation is dangerous ... There is little in the legislation that can stop the Attorney-General from banning a bowling club." Certainly that could have been a handy application, in the event that the ladies' four stopped making scones and started manufacturing methamphetamine. But none of this is funny if you live in Ermington or Merrylands or Northmead or Semaphore and are busily keeping your head down, literally, as the "tit for tat violence" continues. The High Court had its chance to make the community safer and it blew it. The NSW and SA laws would have disrupted the lawlessness which has continued and reached a new crisis point since last Thursday and opted instead, on the basis of some legally arcane pedantry about usurping the authority of the Supreme Court, to strike down those laws. Meanwhile the cops are doing a cracking job standing behind police cameras and raiding pubs to make sure no one has had more than four standard drinks, and the High Court judges are happily ensconced in those suburbs where the Nomads and Finks and Hells Angels tend not to tread. People in normal suburbs must deal with that on their own.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

DEFECTIONS between the Nomads and the Hells Angels bikie gangs could have sparked a spate of drive-by shootings, police said yesterday.


 Identifying ... The Nomads motorcycle gang's logo. Source: Supplied 

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But Gangs Squad commander Arthur Katsogiannis said the tit-for-tat violence was part of a dispute between individual bikies and not a war between the clubs.

Superintendent Katsogiannis and Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad commander Deborah Wallace yesterday called for a end to the violence after shootings near the Ibrahim family home in Merrylands and at Ermington over the weekend.

Among possible motives for the violence was a number of recent defections between the clubs, known as "patching over", Supt Katsogiannis said.

"If this was a full scale war between the Nomads and the Hells Angels you would not have the shootings isolated at one particular area, they would be right around the metropolitan area and around the state," he said.

"It is a conflict between two or three individuals who are part of those gangs, and the conflict is solely between themselves and we're trying to resolve that."

Police have linked eight shootings since last Thursday to the dispute, including one inNorthmead where an innocent woman's house was sprayed with bullets as she slept.

In the last attack, a Merrylands home belonging to a member of the Ibrahim family was shot at on Saturday about 8.45pm. A black four-wheel drive was seen leaving the area after shots were fired, but no one was injured and there was no damage to the house.

In the later incident, police were called to a house at Ermington about 12.05am yesterday after the owner came home and discovered damage to the front of the house.

Police believe the damage to a wall and window was caused by a bullet. No one was in the house at the time.

Strike Force Felix, established to investigate the shootings, has made "significant inroads" about the identity of those involved and the cause of the dispute, Supt Katsogiannis said. "We want to reassure the public that we are doing everything possible."

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Nomads outlaw motorcycle gang, is at the centre of the shootings which have left neighbourhoods gripped with fear.


 assassination attempt on an underworld figure is believed to be behind a series of tit-for-tat drive-by shootings across western Sydney over the past week. The Sunday Telegraph can reveal the man, who is a member of the Nomads outlaw motorcycle gang, is at the centre of the shootings which have left neighbourhoods gripped with fear. The drive-by attacks started two days after the man was released from custody where he faced a number of serious charges, which cannot be detailed for legal reasons. The man was due to be reunited with members of the Nomads newly-reformed Parramatta chapter for a club meeting at an Oporto restaurant in Merrylands. Details of the meeting made their way into the hands of the rival Hells Angels outlaw bikie gang - specifically those from its Parramatta chapter - who are suspected of being involved in the gunfire attack on the eatery. Related Coverage Drive-by shootings on the rise The Daily Telegraph, 1 day ago Drive-bys target gang family members The Daily Telegraph, 5 days ago Merrylands under rule of the gun The Daily Telegraph, 28 Aug 2011 Drive-by targeted ex-Socceroo Courier Mail, 26 Aug 2011 Bikie held on shootings at Ibrahim homes The Daily Telegraph, 17 Aug 2011 The incident allegedly sparked a retaliatory drive-by attack two nights later at a home in Gough St, Holroyd - linked to the Hells Angels. Just hours after, the Nomad's house in Canley Heights was shot up in response, although the premises was unoccupied at the time. Six drive-by shootings are under investigation by a team of more than 18 detectives known as Strike Force Felix. The Sunday Telegraph understands that members of Hells Angels are targeting the man over an issue involving a separate police investigation. The commander of the Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad, Deb Wallace, told The Sunday Telegraph that everything was being done to end the violence. Ms Wallace confirmed that links were being probed between the current spate of drive-by shootings and previous tit-for-tat violence. These included drive-by attacks on the Dover Heights home of nightclub owner John Ibrahim and his mother's Merrylands home in June, investigated under Strike Force Bairstowe. Links also had been established to shootings that took place in the Merrylands and Fairfield areas in late August, investigated by a separate team - Strike Force Restore. "We would say there are certain links between a number of those (strike forces) which we are still exploring," Ms Wallace said. Asked specifically about the individual being targeted, who cannot be named for legal reasons, Ms Wallace said: "I can't speculate at this stage, but there are a number of lines of inquiry we are following." Police have been keen to assure the public that the attacks targeted specific individuals, and were not random acts of violence. Unfortunately, Ms Wallace said, the criminals involved in the current drive-by shootings have been mistakenly firing at the wrong homes. In some cases the targets had moved out either weeks or months earlier - in other cases, innocent family members, distant relatives or bystanders were falling victim. In one case, at least 16 bullets were fired into a house in Blaxcell St, Granville, while two children were inside. Detectives also have been frustrated by the lack of assistance provided by victims of the crimes who have specific knowledge of those involved. Ms Wallace pleaded for those who have any information to come for- ward anonymously to police. "A number of people have come forward and we're so grateful for that." She said people close to the events with specific details often had misguided loyalty to those involved and did not come forward. "We would appeal to them to come forward and they can do so anonymously," she said.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Italy government hangs by thread as coalition crumbles


Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's fate hung by a thread Friday and desertions from his crumbling centre-right coalition may have already robbed him of the parliamentary numbers he needs to survive. Berlusconi, caught in the crossfire from European powers and a party revolt at home, agreed at a G20 summit in France to IMF monitoring of economic reforms which he has long promised but failed to implement. But this may soon be irrelevant for the Italian leader, who will return to Rome later Friday to face what looks increasingly like a deadly rebellion by his own supporters. With financial markets in turmoil over the situation in Greece and Italy viewed as the next domino to fall in the euro zone crisis, calls are mounting for a new government to carry through reforms convincing enough to regain international confidence. Berlusconi has consistently rejected calls to resign and says the only alternative to him is an early election next spring, rather than the technocrat or national unity government urged by many politicians and commentators. Yields on 10-year Italian bonds reached 6.36 percent by early afternoon, creeping closer to 7 percent, a level which could trigger a so-called "buyers' strike" where investors take fright and refuse to buy the paper. Two deputies from Berlusconi's PDL party this week defected to the centrist UDC, taking his support in the 630-seat lower house of parliament to 314 compared with the 316 he needed to win a confidence vote last month. But at least seven other former loyalists have called for a new government and could vote against the 75-year-old media magnate. "The (ruling) majority seems to be dissolving like a snowman in spring," said respected commentator Stefano Folli in the financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore. Other commentators spoke of an "inexorable" revolt against Berlusconi. Even Defence Ministry undersecretary Guido Crosetto, a Berlusconi loyalist, said on television: "I don't know how many days or weeks the government has left. Certainly a majority relying on a few votes cannot continue for long." PATRONAGE Berlusconi, one of Italy's richest men, still has significant powers of patronage and he and his closest aides are expected to spend the weekend trying to win back support for a parliamentary showdown Tuesday. Some rebels have already threatened to vote against Berlusconi in the vote to sign off on the 2010 budget. Berlusconi faced concerted calls to resign when he lost a previous vote on this routine measure, which was almost unprecedented. Although it is not a confidence motion, he would come under huge pressure if he suffered a second defeat. "Unpopular prescriptions are necessary and this challenge cannot be faced with a 51 percent government," said UDC leader Pier Ferdinando Casini, in a reference to Berlusconi's weakness and a widespread feeling that the reforms can only be passed with a broad consensus. The premier has promised European leaders that he will call a formal confidence motion within 15 days to pass amendments to a budget bill incorporating new measures to stimulate growth and cut Italy's huge debt. That will be in the Senate where he has a more solid majority but it could still bring him down. Berlusconi, beset by a string of sex scandals and court cases, has consistently resisted pressure from groups ranging from a powerful business lobby to the Catholic Church to stand down.

An alleged high-ranking member of the Comanchero outlaw motorcycle gang (OMCG) has been charged with a revocation of parole warrant


An alleged high-ranking member of the Comanchero outlaw motorcycle gang (OMCG) has been charged with a revocation of parole warrant by officers from the Gangs Squad’s Strike Force Raptor. Part of Strike Force Raptor’s charter is to monitor members of OMCGs who have been released from Corrective Services custody with parole conditions. Their inquiries led them to a man who had allegedly fled to Queensland. About 6.30pm on Wednesday 2 November 2011, a 41-year-old man was arrested in Tugun, Queensland, by officers from the Queensland Police Service’s Task Force Hydra. He faced Southport Magistrate’s Court yesterday where he was remanded into the custody of Strike Force Raptor officers. He was subsequently taken to Tweed Heads Police Station, in northern NSW, and charged with the revocation of parole warrant. He has been transferred into Corrective Services custody. Strike Force Raptor was established by the State Crime Command’s Gangs Squad in 2009 and is a proactive, high-impact operation targeting outlaw motorcycle gangs and their alleged associated criminal enterprises.

Hells Angels held a party in Tallinn last Saturday that climaxed with a fight that broke out between a night club security guard and two Finnish citizens


motorcycle gang Hells Angels held a party in Tallinn last Saturday that climaxed with a fight that broke out between a night club security guard and two Finnish citizens who were later brought to trial and “essentially thrown out of the country,” as one law enforcement officer put it. Having caused a raucus at the night club, three Hells Angels members had called their friends for help, but police - who had been keeping an eye on their festivities - were standing by and preempted a further conflict, reported ETV. Police say the otherwise peaceful party, attended by Hells Angels members from six countries, is just one sign that motorcycle gangs are expanding to Estonia. A local biker club has been courting the Hells Angels to get full membership. Another local club has already gained membership and established a new headquarters for a second international organization, Bandidos, which Finnish law enforcement has dubbed the biggest organized crime ring in their country. The two groups - Hells Angels and Bandidos - cannot be allowed to come together. “Violence is relatively probable,” said Elmar Vaher, who heads the North Prefecture of the police. He recalled the Great Nordic Biker War in the 1990s, in which 11 were killed, 96 injured, and weapons such as AK-47s were used. "There is a principle that commiting a common crime can tie people more closely to one another than anything else," said Vaher. Authorities now fear new cases of prostitution and drug trafficking. Although police have searched one of these local biker clubs on several occasions, and discovered illegal drugs in one instance, the Estonian biker organizations cannot yet be labeled as criminal, they say. Estonian police have been watching the activities of biker gangs since 2005, when Finnish colleagues identified a problem. "Along with the public club activities, there are more shady dealings as well," said Vaher. "Their handwriting is generally clever. They want to show that they mean well - international associates have built kindergartens [...] But there are also hidden crimes, mainly drugs, prostitution, and serious financial crimes." While Vaher submitted that not every person with a motorcycle and a leather jacket can be considered a criminal, he said some markings - such as the Hells Angels's “1%” insignia - are a clear statement of endorsing criminal activity. Upon inquiry, however, the Estonian biker club associated with Hell Angels defended itself, saying that it is just a group of hobbyists, that every societal demographic has crime, and that criminal activity - indeed - is not a prerequisite for membership.


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