Grant Taylor and Gabrielle Knowles
November 4, 2015, 6:04 am
File photo. Picture: Travis Anderson
Immigration authorities have ramped up the pressure on foreign bikies
living in WA - hitting another three Rebels gang members with
The three men were all New Zealand nationals who were taken into custody
on Sunday and Monday after their visas were cancelled by the Immigration
Minister on “character grounds”.
One of the men - former New Zealand soldier Ko Rutene - was arrested as
he was leaving Casuarina Prison after visiting another senior member of
his gang who is also awaiting deportation to New Zealand.
Mr Rutene’s lawyer Michael Pena-Rees claimed his client was a FIFO
worker and a father with no criminal record, but was being treated like
a criminal simply because of his membership of a motorcycle gang.
Mr Pena-Rees also claimed the Mr Rutene was surrounded by seven officers
from the WA Police gang crime squad who pointed tasers at him during his
The other two Rebels members were believed to be Mehaka Tepuia and
Michael Joiner who had both lived in Perth for more than a decade.
The deportation issue has become a hot topic in New Zealand where anger
is growing at Australia’s crackdown on unwanted foreigners.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key raised his concerns about the
policy directly with Malcolm Turnbull during his visit to New Zealand
More than 100 Kiwis have already been sent home this year and it is
understood close to 200 more are in detention awaiting deportation.
The crackdown began in December when the threshold for revoking visas
was lowered to include anyone who had been jailed for more than twelve
months, or members of organisations such as bikie gangs that were
suspected of being involved in organised crime.
A spokesman for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection said
the Government remained committed to protecting the Australian community
from those involved in serious criminal activity.