Gyms have become 'drug dealing hot spots' as bikie gangs buy them or take advantage of 24-hour trading to peddle steroids and meth
- Gyms and health clubs are becoming hot-spots for drug trafficking
- Bikie gangs are body-conscious and there is 24-hour access to gyms
- Gyms are attractive to Middle Eastern criminals for religious reasons
- There has been a spike in large scale drug busts connected to gyms
- A gym in Melbourne was shot last week in a suspected gang attack
Gyms and health clubs have become hot-spots for drug trafficking and organised crime, police say.
The prevalence of bodybuilding among outlaw motorcycle gangs and the rise of 24-hour health clubs has driven a spike in gym drug-busts.
Police believe the venues are attractive to Middle Eastern criminals, since their religion banned them from drinking, reports Daily Telegraph.
A large quantity of steroids seized from an inner city Sydney gym during a raid last year: NSW police believe gyms are becoming a hot-spot for organised crime
NSW Drug Squad Detective Commander Michael Cook said the infiltration of gyms can be traced to the 24 hour access.
'Organised crime gangs are infiltrating gyms and that falls back to the groups of people that attend gyms and the fact that they are accessible around the clock,' he said.
Mr Cook said part of the appeal also comes from an increased body consciousness among gangs, leading some of them to buy gyms as hangouts.
'Even outlaw motorcycle gangs are purchasing gyms although they often get a manager in to run them as there is a lot to running a business.'
Police believe part of the appeal of gyms for gangs is an increased body consciousness among gangs
There have been a number of large scale drug busts connected to gyms in recent years, including the arrest of a personal trainer at an inner-city gym in June last year.
The man, aged in his 20s, was arrested at the gym where he worked and charged with allegedly supplying and possessing a huge amount of steroids and the drug GHB.
Another 40-year-old man is awaiting trial for allegedly supplying large quantities of cocaine and steroids inside a gym.
Last week, gunshots were fired into a newly opened Melbourne gym in what's understood to be a gang related attack.