Police reveal bikie threat to expose closet gays
I'm sure we crucified Jesus too...ffs....
- The Courier-Mail
- March 05, 2014
The extortionists, who are members of violent outlaw motorcycle gangs, are demanding wads of cash from Queenslanders who are keeping secrets or trying to make an honest living.
In an exclusive interview with The Courier-Mail, Deputy Police Commissioner Brett Pointing has revealed how gangs are harvesting information about vulnerable people and then using it against them.
It comes as details are expected to be released by police about sickening acts of violenceagainst men and women by gangs in Queensland.
Mr Pointing said since the crackdown on criminal gangs, more victims of all types of extortion had come forward.
Themes of extortion included revealing someone’s sexuality, demanding business owners pay“protection money” and threatening to expose a person’s low-level drug use.
From last October through to January this year, six victims have come forward.
He said extortionists targeted people they knew personally or through networks.
“I don’t want to talk about specific cases because some of these are still under investigation but ... often the gang member will exploit people’s vulnerabilities,” Mr Pointing said. “It may be low-level drug users (who) may be in positions in society hey don’t really want people to know (about). It may be people with other things they’re worried about because of their sexuality or other factors.
“These gang members will exploit whatever people feel they’re frightened of to be known about them.
“We have had examples of a straight, direct approach, where they go to a shop owner, ‘We run this part of town’, and sometimes it’s very subtle where they’ll say ‘It’s very dangerous around here. We can protect you if you pay us $1000 a week’.
“Extortion (reports) are up 20 per cent and … that’s a very positive thing, that finally we’re seeing evidence of people who are prepared to come forward to talk about their experiences. A lot of people who have been subject to extortion see this as their opportunity to escape from the arrangement that has a huge negative impact on their lives.”
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbian and Gays support group spokeswoman Donna Goddard said this type of extortion was disgusting and shocking.
“To have their sexual or gender identity held against them – I can’t find the words to say how horrified I am,” Ms Goddard said.