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Source: Australian Federal Police

The Australian Federal Police (AFP)’s National Anti-Gangs Squad (NAGS) is ramping up its attack on Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMCGs) in Australia, with 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. Acting 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.”

Law Enforcement will 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,” Detective Acting Superintendent McGrath said.

South Australia Police Detective Superintendent Stephen Taylor, Officer in Charge of Serious & Organised Crime Branch said:

“SAPOL continues to work well with all of our partner agencies – including NAGS and the results against motorcycle gang members is very good. The combined efforts of law enforcement makes it a high risk environment for anyone operating outside of the law,” 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,” Detective Inspector 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.”

The joint-NAGS Strike Teams also undertake their own investigations in 2020 including:

NEW SOUTH WALES:

  • In July 2020, NAGS New South Wales arrested an OMCG associate for firearms offences and seized a double barrelled shotgun (Image included in Hightail link).

VICTORIA:

  • In July 2020, in a joint operation with Victoria Police and Trident Taskforce; NAGS Victoria coordinated the apprehension by NSW Police of an alleged senior Mongols OMCG member for multiple COVID-19 border breaches.  Subsequent joint search warrants resulted in locating trafficable quantities of cocaine, methamphetamine and steroids, two firearms and the seizure of two luxury motor vehicles.

TASMANIA:

  • In September 2020, three alleged Tasmanian Nomad members and affiliates were charged with a range of Commonwealth and state offences, including supporting a criminal organisation. This also resulted in the confiscation of a motorcycle allegedly involved in hooning and serious traffic offences.
  • https://www.afp.gov.au/news-media/media-releases/national-anti-gangs-squad-arrests-tasmania-bike-seized
  • In June 2020, a joint operation between Tasmania Police and NAGS Tasmania, resulted in the arrest of six alleged Bandidos OMCG members and an associate for numerous state and commonwealth charges.  This operation was one of the largest single deployments of police resources for a criminal investigation in Tasmania.
  • Vision included in Hightail link.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA:

  • In July 2020, NAGS South Australia arrested an OMCG member and seized $47,000.
  • In May 2020, a joint operation between South Australia Police and NAGS South Australia, resulted in the dismantling of a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory, the seizure of about 4kg of methamphetamine and the arrest of two people.
  • In February 2020, NAGS South Australia arrested an associate of an OMCG for importing a marketable quantity of a border controlled drug and seized over two kilograms of methamphetamine and over $125,000 (Images included in Hightail link).

QUEENSLAND

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Anyone with information relating to organised crime and criminal groups, including Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMCGs) can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Media note:

Vision and images of search warrants and items seized referenced in the release are available via Hightail link here.

Media enquiries

AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297

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