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Oz cops blitz Angels' hangouts

2013-10-10 08:37

EVICTION ORDER: Police in Queensland vow to boot Hell’s Angels out of the Australian state going so far as to draft laws banning motorcyclist travelling in groups of three or more.Image: AFP

MELBOURNE, Australia - More than 700 heavily armed police swooped on Hell's Angels biker clubhouses in a series of raids in Melbourne and seized guns, ammunition drugs and cash.

About 60 clubhouses and properties were hit simultaneously to clamp down on an intensifying battle between rival motorcycle outfits that has, police say, involved a spate of shootings with high-powered weapons. Like the Americans in Iraq, however, the police failed to find any such weapons.

The crackdown came after new "anti-fortification" laws came into effect which allow police to tear down barriers, cameras and booby traps at club facilities.

CLAMPING DOWN ON BIKER GANGS

Acting deputy commissioner Steve Fontana said: "If they're affiliated to the Hell's Angels, they've been targeted."

Several bikers were arrested but Fontana said the full extent of what had been seized would take time to determine. Many of the properties were heavily fortified but he admitted that none of the "high-powered military-style weapons" that police had been searching for had been found.

He's a man on a mission, however: "We're determined to track them down. We've located a number of firearms, a large quantity of ammunition, we've located drugs, a large quantity of cash, but the investigations and searches are still going.

"We're extremely concerned about the intel we've got about the tensions and the intentions of these clubs so we thought it necessary to make a pretty strong stance."

KICKING THEM OUT OF QUEENSLAND?

In 2013 incidents involving biker gangs in Melbourne have included a tattoo parlour being shot at, makeshift bombs (which failed to go bang) thrown at a gym and shots fired a Hell's Angels clubhouse. Biker gangs allegedly linked to organised crime are said to be a growing problem across Australia; a mass brawl on the Gold Coast in September 2013 prompted Queensland police to vow to kick them out of the state.

As part of that pledge, new laws are being drafted in Queensland to ban motorcyclists riding in groups of three or more to stop them using numbers to intimidate.

Earlier in 2013, police launched a series of dawn raids across Sydney targeting motorcycle gangs, seizing firearms, explosives and drugs.

Is this democracy in action or what? Three in a group - what happened to freedom of association? Is this the same mob who tried to ban biker club badges? Bet they all drive Holdens! Anyway, Email us and we'll publish your thoughts on Wheels24.
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Read more on:    australia  |  biker  |  police  |  gangs

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