Monday, 4 June 2012

PERTH'S outlaw motorcycle gangs are "aggressively" expanding into Asia and have set up a chapter in Bali

PERTH'S outlaw motorcycle gangs are "aggressively" expanding into Asia and have set up a chapter in Bali, according to Assistant Police Commissioner Nick Anticich. He confirmed the spread of the gangs' tentacles after The Sunday Times learnt WA members of the Coffin Cheaters owned businesses in Kuta and others had been seen in groups wearing their colours in clubs and bars. Mr Anticich, WA Police's top bikie expert, confirmed the Cheaters had a local club in Bali and said gangs were "expanding aggressively overseas, opening clubhouses and absorbing smaller clubs in other countries". "Intelligence suggests local clubs are keen to build connections to some South-East Asian countries where amphetamines and the precursor chemicals needed to make them can be more easily obtained," he said. "There is some anecdotal information to suggest the interest in overseas countries may be to facilitate money laundering." Other bikie gangs with a presence in Bali include the Bandidos and Rock Machine. "The tough laws in Bali around drug dealing we believe provide a significant deterrent for members to engage in that activity," Mr Anticich said. "We are not so confident that this deterrent exists in relation to precursors or chemicals that can be used for drug manufacture. "In many countries these are cheap, easily accessible, not illegal to possess and available in commercial quantities." Another WA Police source said Bali had become a haven for international drug gangs because of the lack of security technology. A 55-year-old housewife was arrested on May 19 and is among four British people facing a possible death sentence in Bali for alleged drug smuggling. In August last year, a 41-year-old Ugandan woman was found dead in a Kuta hotel room with more than 1kg of crystal meth, wrapped in plastic, in her intestines. Mr Anticich said though Indonesia ratified the UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances more than a decade ago, it was still "difficult" to define what chemicals their laws related to. Bikie gangs were flourishing across South-East Asia, with the Bandidos boasting chapters in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore and the Outlaws operating in Thailand, the Philippines and Japan. WA Police could monitor organised crime figures and seek assistance of police in other jurisdictions if they believed criminal activity was occurring. In WA, bikies are not allowed to wear their colours in licensed venues. The Barnett Government also plans to introduce anti-association laws banning people in known criminal organisations, such as bikie gangs, from gathering or even contacting each other.

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