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Police smash Rebels bikie gang drug syndicate in northern NSW: Ballina chapter dismantled

AN ICE and speed syndicate run by bikies on the state’s far north coast has been smashed by police with 11 properties raided this morning.

The Rebels Ballina chapter has been dismantled today after the arrests of the chapter’s president, vice-president and sergeant-at-arms.

Strike Force Badim detectives moved on bikie-linked properties from Taree to Ballina in dawn raids, nabbing seven bikies and associates aged between 25 and 46.

The one-year investigation focused on the supply of methamphetamine in northern NSW, with charges of commercial supply of ice and firearms offences expected to be laid against the bikies.

Richmond Local Area Command Inspector Cameron Lindsay confirmed raids were executed on properties in Ballina, Evans Head, Goonellabah, Jacky Bulbin Flat, Grafton and Forster. Properties in Taree and Coffs Harbour were also searched.

Police carried-out a high-risk search and arrest at a 40ha rural property on Jacky Bulbin Road, arresting a Rebels member with a “history of violence” who was allegedly in possession of sawn-off firearms.

It is estimated more than $400,000 worth of drugs was seized during the raids.

“The Tactical Operations Unit was involved in a high-risk arrest. We will allege this person was armed with shortened firearms and has a history of violence and has used violence in the past,” Insp Lindsay said.

The Rebels have been targeted heavily by Strike Force Raptor and gangs squad detectives with its leader Alex Vella stranded in Malta after his visa was cancelled.

The country’s biggest outlaw motorcycle gang cancelled its national run this year for the first time in its history.

In the past two-years, approximately 3000 people have been arrested by the Attero National Task Force — which focused on the Rebels gang.

Insp Lindsay said the Rebels were “not welcome” in northern NSW and the arrests netted several OMCG life members.