Bikie gangs face unprecedented
action from biggest operation in national history
Nigel Hunt Exclusive
Operation Morpheus will target
the increasing number of bikie gangs and members
posing the highest risk to the community through
their violent and criminal activities.
POLICE are set to launch the
largest multi-agency operation against bikie gangs in
the nation’s history.
Operation Morpheus will target the
increasing number of bikie gangs and members posing the
highest risk to the community through their violent and
Besides using traditional policing methods
and tactics to detect criminal offending and disrupt their
activities, gang members will also be subject to intense
scrutiny from agencies including the Australian Taxation
Office, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission
and the Social Security Department.
Nationally, there are about 4500 patched
bikie gang members across 180 chapters.
Operation Morpheus, which involves every
Australian police jurisdiction, has just been endorsed by
the board of the Australian Crime Commission. Its
considerable powers — including coercive hearings — will be
used as integral tools in the unprecedented operation.
The new operation is modelled on Operation
Attero, a national taskforce that has focused solely on the
Rebels bikie gang over the past two years with considerable
success. It has resulted in about 3000 people being arrested
or reported for more than 4200 charges and resulted in the
recovery of more than $15 million from gang members
following tax audits.
The new operation is modelled on
Operation Attero, a national taskforce that has
successfully targeted the Rebels bikie gang over
the past two years.
ACC chief executive officer Chris Dawson
yesterday said Operation Morpheus demonstrated “there is an
absolute unity at board level for a collaborative, joined
approach in dealing with bikies’’.
He said the gangs remained one of the
largest organised crime threats within Australia and he was
concerned at the national increase in gang membership.
“They are certainly one of the more
significant criminal fraternities that we have in Australia,
but that is also a trend we have seen internationally,’’ he
“I don’t think we should move away from
the issue there are now currently 38 different OMCGs
operating in Australia.
“We have seen a growth, which I put down
largely to the profits that can be generated, particularly
through drug distribution and other also crime types which
often have the fronts of legitimate business efforts but in
fact they are organised crime.’’
Mr Dawson believed all gang members should
be concerned when they learn of the new operation and
“should also seriously consider whether they want to remain
prime targets for law enforcement.’’
And he warned that Operation Morpheus
would also target professionals, such as accountants and
lawyers, who assisted gang members in their activities.
“I am overtly saying to those members and
associates, you will be subject to targeting,’’ he said.
“That is a clear part of the effort ahead
Outlaw motor cycle gangs
throughout the country will be targeted in the
Operation Morpheus has been established by
the Serious and Organised Crime Coordination Committee,
which is comprised of assistant commissioners of crime from
all Australian policing jurisdictions and senior
representatives from the ACC, Australian Federal Police, the
ATO and Customs.
The targets of Operation Morpheus will be
decided by each jurisdiction, initially by the risk they
pose to the community, but there will be coordinated actions
against some key targets around the nation.