Sunday, May 26, 2024

Police swoop in on Hells Angels

A national joint operation to target and disrupt the criminal activities of the Hells Angels Outlaw Motorcycle Gang has resulted in 24 people being charged with dozens of offences across Australia.

The operation, coordinated by National Task Force Morpheus, involved police and other government agencies and partners from across Australia and New Zealand joining forces yesterday to conduct a series of 28 coordinated search warrants and disruption activities targeting the Hells Angels Outlaw Motorcycle Gang.

Yesterday’s activities combined the forces of the Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force, Western Australia Police Force, Northern Territory Police, Queensland Police Service, South Australia Police, Victoria Police and the NSW Police Force.

During the raids, officers seized firearms, ammunition, cash and drugs.

Police say the drugs seized included methylamphetamine, cocaine, steroids and 30L of GHB. One clandestine drug lab and a hydroponic setup were also located indicating the cultivation and manufacture of drugs was taking place.

In addition to the arrests and seizures made yesterday, Police say valuable intelligence was gained which will be shared with all law enforcement agencies through the Australian Criminal and Intelligence Commission’s Australian Gangs Intelligence Coordination Centre.

Detective Superintendent Tony Longhorn, WA Police Force’s representative on National Task Force Morpheus, and spokesperson for yesterday’s national operation, said the coordination of activities across jurisdictions is a critical aspect of investigations and intelligence gathering.

“Outlaw motorcycle gangs use their networks of chapters across the country, and across the world, to facilitate a range of criminal activities including the activities linked to the illicit drug and firearm trades.”

“By working together across national and international borders we gather important intelligence to assist with targeted disruption activities and build our intelligence holdings to support current and future investigations.

“The Hells Angels Outlaw Motorcycle Gang in particular has a long history of violence and intimidation, and have strong links to other Serious & Organised Crime Groups, not just in Australia but across the world through their overseas Chapters.

“The members of National Task Force Morpheus are committed to disrupting and dismantling the criminal networks linked to outlaw motorcycle gangs and will do everything within their powers to protect the community from the dangers outlaw motorcycle gangs pose.”

Australian Federal Police National Anti-Gangs Squad Detective Acting Superintendent Jason McArthur said Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs are violent, well-organised criminal networks that have zero respect for the law and regard themselves as above it.

“They are not families or a ‘brotherhood’. The Hells Angels – like every other bikie gang – is trying to recruit new members and associates only to facilitate its criminal ventures and make money,” he said.

“Outlaw motorcycle gangs’ operations are not restricted by state or international borders, which is why the AFP established the National Anti-Gangs Squad with state and territory police, the Australian Taxation Office and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, to work with all of our partners in a coordinated approach to fight gang-related crime.

“As part of National Task Force Morpheus, the AFP-led National Anti-Gangs Squad brings Commonwealth capabilities and international networks to help disrupt these high-risk gangs and protect the Australian community.

“Our message to OMCGs and their supporters is clear – we are working together and we will be relentless. We will outsmart you.” 

National Task Force Morpheus is a joint initiative of Australia and New Zealand law enforcement and Australian Commonwealth agencies targeting the crime associated with Outlaw Motor Cycle Gangs (OMCG).

The National Taskforce has been working cooperatively to prevent OMCG from establishing in our communities to reduce harm and ensure community safety and wellbeing in public spaces.

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