TWO BIKIE clubhouses have been shut down, five guns – including one disguised in the form of a reusable lighter – have been seized and multiple bikies arrested in a major 10-day cross-border police operation.
SNAPSHOT IN NUMBERS
1 Pill-press seized
2 Bikie clubhouses dismantled
4 Firearms Prohibition Order searches executed
5 Firearms seized
6 Properties raided
6 Businesses associated with OMCGs inspected
8 People arrested on 30 charges
46 traffic infringement notices issued
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
The operation, involving police from the NSW Police Force’s Strike Force Raptor, the National Anti Gangs Squad, Queensland Police’s Taskforce Maxima, and the Tweed-Byron Local Area Command, saw police undertake activity in numerous locations throughout northern NSW and on the Gold Coast.
On Tuesday March 11, police raided three properties in Southport, Banora Point and Tweed Heads South, seizing a .22 calibre pistol – disguised in the form of a reusable lighter – as well as a pill press, a number of MDMA tablets, cannabis, a white crystal substance believed to be methylamphetamine, and .22 ammunition.
Police arrested and charged a 59-year-old alleged member of the Mongols with a total of 17 offences, including drug supply, drug possession, possess tablet press, and possess unauthorised firearm. He was granted conditional bail and is due to appear in Tweed Heads Local Court on 7 April 2014.
On Wednesday March 12, police served Firearms Prohibition Orders on four men living in different locations throughout the Tweed-Byron Local Area Command and searched the properties.
At one of the properties, a residence in Cabarita Beach, police located and seized 64 grams of cocaine, three rounds of 30/30 ammunition, small amounts of cannabis, MDMA and steroids, cash, and other items believed to be used in the supply of drugs.
Police the arrested and charged the resident, a 25-year-old member of the Lone Wolf OMCG, with numerous offences including drug supply, drug possession, possess ammunition, and goods in custody.
He was refused bail and appeared in Tweed Heads Local Court on Thursday 13 March 2014, where he was granted conditional bail to reappear on 31 March 2014.
Officers also conducted a number of licensed premises inspections and proactive patrols in Byron Bay, resulting in 10 prohibited drug detections, 23 person searches, six business inspections and one person being arrested for possess prohibited drug and resist arrest.
A licensed premises was also issued with a fire regulation breach, and a security breach, while forty-six traffic infringement notices were issued.
Shortly before 8.30pm on Friday March 14, police attended the Tweed Heads clubhouse of the Odin’s Warriors OMCG. In total, 17 people – most of them members of the Odin’s Warriors – were in attendance at the clubhouse when police arrived.
Officers executed a search warrant at the property to determine whether the unlawful sale of alcohol was taking place on site. In addition to searching the property, police searched all 17 people in attendance.
Three men in attendance were charged with possess prohibited drug, while another was charged with mid range PCA and possession of a knife in a public place.
During the search warrant, officers located and seized, 19 shotgun rounds, 150 bottles of alcohol, cash, ticket stubs and bar records, a bar from which alcohol was being served, a fridge within which alcohol was being stored, furniture, a pool table, and, numerous items of Odin’s Warriors paraphernalia.
One man present during the warrant was found to be the registered owner of a rifle and a shotgun. He was immediately issued with a firearm suspension notice and his guns were seized.
Further charges are expected to be laid for breaching the conditions of the property’s Development Application.
Around 8pm on Saturday March 15, police raided a Chinderah property which police allege was being used as a clubhouse by members of the Mongols, and that the illegal sale of alcohol may have been taking place at the location.
During the search warrant, officers seized Mongols paraphernalia, alcohol, bar equipment, a fridge, a pool table, furniture and an extensive sound and lighting system.
No one was present at the property when the search warrant commenced, yet during its execution three members of the Mongols attended the location. They were served with an Occupiers Notice and advised that any further use of the property would result in immediate prosecution.
Charges are expected to be laid for breaching the conditions of the property’s Development Application.
On Sunday March 16, police conducted inspections at a tattoo parlour and two brothels associated with the Finks OMCG. At the tattoo parlour, police located and seized two pistols, as well as detecting a number of Fire Safety breaches.
A number of Fire Safety breaches were also detected within the two brothels.
The NSW Police Force’s Northern Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Jeff Loy, commended all of the officers involved in the operation.
“The excellent results of the operation can be directly attributed to the professionalism and unwavering commitment of all the police officers involved,” Assistant Commissioner Loy said.
“Police from NSW, Queensland and the AFP worked together seamlessly and their efforts have significantly disrupted the dealings of a number of local criminal networks.”
AFP Detective Superintendent, Andrew Donoghoe, said law enforcement agencies will continue their fight against organised crime groups and outlaw motorcycle gangs.
“Law enforcement agencies are working together more than ever to keep the community safe by stamping out gang-related crime,” Detective Superintendent Donoghoe said.
The Commander of Queensland Police’s Taskforce Maxima, Detective Superintendent Mick Niland, highlighted the effectiveness of law enforcement agencies working together to tackle OMCGs.
“We are working across the country to detect, deter and disrupt criminal activity,” Detective Superintendent Niland said.
“There are no borders in the fight against gangs. This multipronged approach with unprecedented level of cooperation between states and the commonwealth provides an excellent platform to coordinate enforcement actions such as these.”