The Australian Federal Police (AFP)’s National Anti-Gangs Squad (NAGS) is ramping up its attack on Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMCGs) in Australia, telling gang members, “We are coming for you”.
In a statement, Police said there would be an increased focus on all levels of gang membership and affiliation aiding criminal activities.
National Anti-Gangs Squad Detective Acting Superintendent, Jason McArthur said joint NAGS Strike Teams continued to clamp down on those OMCG supporters, facilitators, associates and individuals who are helping gangs commit crime during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The NAGS is using a variety of tools and partnerships to target people who help to enable or facilitate OMCG members to undertake criminal activity, including those dealing with the proceeds of crime,” he said.
“We have identified that some members have interests in outwardly legitimate businesses including in the retail, transport and construction industries, and in some instances, these interests have been used to facilitate organised crime and intermingle the proceeds from this activity.
“Our message to these individuals is clear – we are coming for you.”
Det A/Supt McArthur said the COVID-19 pandemic had forced OMCGs to alter their illicit activities due to domestic and international border restrictions.
“We’ve observed the efforts OMCG members attempting to adapt to the pandemic and avoid the attention of law enforcement. Together with our state and territory law enforcement partners we’ve remained one step ahead and increased our vigilance while also making arrests from the bottom to the top of the packs.”
He said law enforcement would continue to target OMCGs using both traditional and non-traditional law enforcement methods, including investigating tax and welfare payment fraud and identifying illegitimate business interests.
The Joint NAGS Strike Teams work with state and territory counterparts on a daily basis and provide significant intelligence and operational support to State and Territory police to target OMCGs, their affiliates and supporters.
The Queensland Police Service’s (QPS) Organised Crime Gangs Group Commander, Detective Acting Superintendent Craig McGrath said strong law enforcement collaboration is an important part of the borderless and agile policing approach to outlaw motorcycle gangs.
“The QPS continues to work closely with the AFP through the National Anti-Gangs Squad to jointly target and dismantle criminal gangs, including those enabling and facilitating their offending,” Det A/Supt McGrath said.
South Australia Police Detective Superintendent Stephen Taylor, Officer in Charge of Serious & Organised Crime Branch said the combined efforts of law enforcement made it a high risk environment for anyone operating outside of the law.
“SAPOL continues to work well with all of our partner agencies – including NAGS and the results against motorcycle gang members is very good,” he said.
Detective Inspector Damien George said that Tasmania Police’s aim was to disrupt the criminal activities of people associated with outlaw motorcycle gangs across the state.
“We will continue to work closely with our partners at the AFP NAGS to achieve this,” Det Insp George said.
“The community needs to be aware that outlaw motorcycle gangs are not harmless motorcycle clubs. They are well organised criminal gangs who readily resort to violence and intimidation to protect their way of life, causing fear across Tasmania and the rest of the country.”