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State wants gangs gone, says head of Tasmania’s organised crime squad

A Rebels bikie vest seized in a Tasmania Police raid.


TASMANIA does not need or want bikie gangs, the head of the state’s serious and organised crime squad says.


Detective Inspector Glenn Lathey made his comments days after the Mercury reported a former Rebels state president had been effectively deported.

Colin David Picard, 69, was removed from Australia after serving 30 months of a three-year sentence in Risdon Prison for drug trafficking.


Picard is one of 580 people who had visas cancelled in 2014-15 on character grounds by a Federal Government bent on booting out criminals who are not citizens.

By contrast, 76 non-citizens had their visas cancelled on character grounds in 2013-14.

Picard, who lived here for more than 30 years and had family in Australia, led the Rebels for a decade.

In 2013 he was convicted of trafficking 36 ounces of methamphetamine throughout the state.

Rebels Motorcycle Club on the move in Canberra. Picture: RAY STRANGE

Following his visa can­cellation he appealed the decision in the Federal Court which dismissed the case in December.


On Tuesday he was taken from Risdon to the airport and flown to Auckland.

“We know that outlaw motor­cycle gangs, particularly the Rebels in Tasmania, are linked to the importation and distribution of drugs,” Insp Lathey said yesterday.

“Tasmania does not need people who are involved in those kinds of activities. We don’t want these groups here and the community does not want them here.”

Founding Tasmanian Rebels member A.J. Graham is fighting his visa cancellation in the Federal Court.


Last June Graham was a target of a joint crackdown on bikies by Tasmania Police, the Australian Federal Police-led National Anti-Gangs Squad, the Australian Taxation Office and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Police said the operation netted 14 arrests, 19 summons, more than 100 charges and the seizure of 25 firearms.

Graham was not charged with any offences but had his visa cancelled on character grounds and is being held in a NSW supermax prison.