Monday, 4 June 2012

Bikie 'terror team': Police outline case against Gold Coast Finks

They allegedly boast a "terror team" responsible for handing out "Finks' fines" or extortions and must wear jackets featuring an image of a cartoon wizard. They have allegedly been involved in murder, dealing in marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy and speed and linked to a shooting in Sydney and even the attempted theft of a $400,000 Lamborghini from a Melbourne car salesroom. Meet the Gold Coast Finks outlaw motorcycle gang as described by Queensland police, who last week alleged the group and its more than 40 members should be designated a criminal organisation under the state's controversial two-year-old anti-association laws. Advertisement: Story continues below In a 95-page application filed in the Queensland Supreme Court, the state's police allege the Finks “habitually, both individually and collectively, engage in serious criminal activity” as demonstrated by numerous criminal incidents up and down the east coast of Australia. The application, obtained after Seven News applied to the Supreme Court to access the file, provides a unique look at the outlaw motorcycle group as observed by police, who allege gang rules include requiring members to wear “colours” – a “leather jacket or vest which bears the club logo of the character “Bung” from the Wizard of Id cartoon and the patch “1%”, a reference to the belief they operate in the 1 per cent of society outside the law. Under the heading “members associate for the purpose of engaging or conspiring to engage in serious criminal activity”, the application details a range of crimes such as the incident in 2009, when the Queensland Police Service arrested one alleged member, after learning he was travelling to New South Wales to collect cocaine and MDMA for schoolies celebrations. When police stopped his car they found over 8000 tablets which contained methylamphetamine and cocaine, the application says. In the May 2010 incident, it is alleged two members visited a high-end sports car salesyard in Port Melbourne wearing Finks colours on their clothing, the application says. It alleges one of the members then demanded the keys to a $400,000 Lamborghini from the owner, who refused. An alleged member then assaulted a person who handed over the keys. The members then drove the car away. One of the men was later arrested and convicted of robbery and sentenced to imprisonment of three years and six months. On another occasion police stopped what they allege were some 27 Finks in a group riding at South Grafton in NSW and on another occasion police raided a house at Merrylands in Sydney's western suburbs as part of an investigation into a shooting in Norton Street, Leichardt, and discovered a Finks vest belonging to one of the alleged members. The 29 pages detailing criminal acts include dozens of serious offences committed in Queensland and include the bashing death of a man in connection with the suspected theft of a motorcycle, the assault of a man in nightclub with a bar stool that resulted in him losing an eye, the dealing and use of drugs including cocaine, cannabis, ecstasy, possession of pistols and shotguns, and throwing a man off a balcony on the Gold Coast in December 2001. The application alleges that within the organisation is a group known as the "Finks terror team" whose major function is the extortion of money by a system known as "Finks' fines". It alleges 10 individuals are members of this team. One assault was alleged to have unfolded with a member arriving at the victim's doorstep and proclaiming: “I've heard you've been talking about my club.” When asked what club that was, the member displayed his t-shirt bearing the “Terror Team” and the word “Finks”. The member then told the victim “I'm here to f--- you up”, according to the application. He then kicked the security door causing it to bust its frame and the victim was hit on the head by the frame and sustained two lacerations to the scalp. The alleged member was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment. The application contains a chronological record of the times members were allegedly intercepted by police in New South Wales and Queensland and even once in the Northern Territory and recorded the fact they either admitted to being a Fink or were wearing Fink-related colours dating back to the late 1990s. Brisbane-based lawyer Adam Magill, who represents a number of the alleged members, was surprised at the decision to file the application and said the individuals named in the application were not in any position to comment. “It was only filed on Friday afternoon,” he told Fairfax Media on Sunday. Similar laws have been introduced in New South Wales in 2009 following a deadly brawl involving bikies at Sydney's domestic airport, but were overturned by the High Court after a member of the Hells Angels challenged the legislation on the grounds it curtailed individual liberties. Friday’s police application was the first filed under the Queensland’s Criminal Organisation Act. The law was opposed by Queensland’s Liberal National Party opposition in 2009, when senior figure Lawrence Springborg claimed Labor MPs “should be condemned to the eternal nightmare which follows their trampling of centuries of established legal rights of every Queensland citizen into the dirt”. However, Police Minister Jack Dempsey said on Friday: “While the LNP has been critical of these laws in the past, we will do everything we can to crack down on these gangs and protect the community.”

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