A SPECIALIST federal anti-gang squad aimed at
the growing bikie menace has been launched in Victoria.
An investigator from the Australian Tax Office and
five Australian Federal Police investigators will be embedded with
Victoria Police organised crime specialists.
The newest curb on bikies comes after police yesterday
served the state's first anti-fortification notice on a Melbourne Hells
Premier Denis Napthine said today that no stone would
be left unturned in pursuing illegal activity.
"We as a government put community safety as a top
priority," he said.
"We as a government will tackle these outlaw
He said federal officer would focus on the gangs'
money making schemes in a bid to more effectively disrupt them.
Victoria's anti-gang squad will form part of the
71-member national anti-gang squad, which aims to tackle bikies across
While Customs and Border protection will ramp up its
intelligence sharing with federal law enforcement agencies in a bid to
stop outlaw motorcycle gangs smuggling in drugs and weapons.
The Hells Angels headquarters at
Thomastown which has been subject to an
Extra surveillance teams and proceeds of crime
investigators are expected to work with the squad.
Local detectives attended the Hells Angels' Nomads
chapter clubhouse in Thomastown to hand over the anti-fortification
notice late yesterday afternoon.
The chapter will have a month to challenge the order
or be forced to tear down much of the property.
There is growing law enforcement interest in
financially crippling outlaw bikie gangs, which are typically cashed up
from criminal activities.
The raid on the Hells Angels was co-ordinated
Queensland's strike team, based on the Gold Coast, was
launched earlier this month. A NSW team is due to start soon.
Teams are expected to receive extra support by
surveillance The team was to have started in January but state and
federal police have asked for immediate action.
Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the
national team meant police would have smoother access to national
"By fast-tracking the Victorian Strike Team, the
Victorian Police will have access to the specialist capabilities
provided by federal agencies including the Australian Federal Police,
the Australian Crime Commission and the Australian Taxation Office," he
Detail of the order against the Hells
Angels' Thomastown clubhouse. Picture Ian Currie.
Mr Keenan added a task force will be announced for NSW
Mr Keenan said the Federal Government would look into
establishing federal anti-association laws.
The strike team will work alongside organised crime
detectives and Victoria's anti-bikie Echo taskforce.
Mr Keenan and Dr Napthine launched the force in
Melbourne this morning.
"We do not accept, and we will not have, outlaw
motorcycle gangs involved in drugs and extortions and illegal activities
in our great state of Victoria," Dr Napthine said.
"There is no place for outlaw motorcycle gangs here in
Victoria police assistant commissioner Stephen Fontana
said the access to nationwide intelligence would help his officers to
more effectively target the organised gangs.