FINKS bikies were planning to kidnap a former member and extort another for $10,000, police allege after arresting 18 people in dawn raids across Melbourne.
Police told an out-of-sessions hearing last night that they had stopped an attempt by members of the gang’s Ringwood chapter to kidnap a former Fink who had left the club on “bad grounds”.
Detective Senior Constable Dean Vincent said listening devices inside the clubrooms had revealed plans to grab Tommy Escort from outside Ringwood Magistrates Court on October 26, before taking him “to the bush”.
A car connected to the alleged attempted kidnapping was later intercepted with three men and weapons inside.
Sen Constable Vincent told the court that in separate incidents members of the gang had conspired to extort another former member who owed them a $10,000 “exit fee”, as well as tradie who had completed works at the clubhouse.
He said some members had also been involved in an “affray” at Ringwood’s Manhattan Hotel that left a woman — whose drink had been stolen — cowering between the legs of staff behind the bar.
Finks Ringwood chapter president John Napolitano faces 12 charges, including conspiracy to kidnap, conspiracy to extort and incitement.
Vice president Joseph Girgis, Sergeant at Arms Jye Carter and Secretary Daniel Laird have been charged with various offences.
Eleven people were remanded in custody, four bailed and three are expected to be charged at a later date.
A total of 18 people were arrested during the 20 simultaneous raids yesterday, which allegedly uncovered two clandestine labs for making ice, drugs, guns, gun-making equipment, stolen cars and motorbikes.
Superintendent Peter De Santo said police had targeted the Finks Victorian operations in the four-month investigation because of rising tensions with another outlawed motorcycle club.
“OMCG’s are not welcome in this state. We will continue to target them,” Supt De Santo said.
Australian Federal Police, Border Force and the National Anti-Gangs assisted with the operation.
Queensland Police have arrested Gold Coast Finks motorcycle chapter members and charged them with counterfeit money and drug offences.