Fourteen people have been arrested during a
series of raids across Melbourne as part of a police investigation into
blackmail, extortion and assaults linked to the Comancheros bikie gang.
Police in Melbourne executed warrants at 18
properties targeting the outlaw motorcycle gang (OMCG) early this morning.
They searched addresses across Melbourne's
suburbs, including Gladstone Park, Thomastown, and Dallas in the north, and
Hampton Park, Cranbourne North and Carrum Downs in the south-east.
Searches also took place at a factory in
Epping and a licensed premises in Thomastown.
Investigators said the raids were
connected to an investigation into a shooting at Greenvale on March 25 where
a number of shots were fired into an empty car and garage.
Police said they had also been looking
into allegations of blackmail and extortion linked to that shooting, as well
as assault offences.
Police 'not intimidated' by bikie gangs
Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner
Tess Walsh said the
Comancheros had been a
focus for police this year.
"We've made it clear this year through a
number of operations, warrants and arrests that it doesn't matter what link
you have to OMCGs, if you're engaging in or enabling criminal activity then
police are going to hold you accountable for it," she said in a statement.
"We know the Comancheros have
traditionally been involved in serious and violent crimes such as shootings,
assaults, arson, drug trafficking and extortion.
"Today's warrants highlight Victoria
Police's strong focus on the criminal activities of OMCGs and this is
something that is going to continue."
Assistant Commissioner Walsh has urged
people with information to come forward.
"We will investigate and we will charge
people involved," she said.
"We're not intimidated by them and we will
not allow our communities to be."