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New bikies task force mounts up


Law enforcement Agencies are to target outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMCGs) under Operation Morpheus, a new multi-Agency task force.

Backed by the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) Board, the national task force has been created by the Serious and Organised Crime Coordination Committee (SOCCC) to continue and expand the work of the Attero National Task Force that has been targeting the Rebels since February 2012.

Chair of the SOCCC, South Australia Police Assistant Commissioner, Paul Dickson said: "Operation Morpheus will be continuing this work, but with a broader focus on all OMCGs that pose a risk to our community."

Operation Morpheus comprises the ACC, Australian Federal Police (AFP), Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS), Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), as well as all State and Territory Police services.

Multi-Agency operation to take on outlaws

The national taskforce will also be supported by staff from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and Department of Human Services via Centrelink.

Assistant Commissioner Dickson said Operation Morpheus would target OMCGs using both traditional and non-traditional law enforcement methods, including executing warrants on club houses, investigating tax and welfare payments, their travel movements and their business activities.

"The Attero National Task Force has led to approximately 3,000 arrests of Rebels members and associates on more than 4,200 charges," he said.

"This, partnered with regulatory action such as targeting the assets and tax debts of Rebels members, has resulted in a significant disruption on the group."

Chief Executive of the ACC, Chris Dawson said Operation Morpheus would also provide an agreed strategy for national law enforcement to work with the existing Commonwealth National Anti-Gangs Squad and Australian Gangs Intelligence Coordination Centre framework.

"Members of outlaw motorcycle gangs believe they can operate outside the law-they cannot," Mr Dawson said.

"OMCGs are a priority of all Australian law enforcement Agencies and we will use our full suite of capabilities to proactively target them, including Australian Crime Commission coercive powers and other intelligence gathering and investigative tools," he said.