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Internet 'cookbook' fuels drug wars

AS a special murder task force investigates the bloody amphetamines drug war erupting in Victoria, police around the country have uncovered dozens of clandestine laboratories and copies of an illegal "cookbook" on how to make the illicit drugs.

It is believed the recent murders in Melbourne are linked to drug wars that are being fuelled by the availability of internet recipes and a manual called Secrets of Methamphetamine Manufacture, written by an underground chemist known as "Uncle Fester".

The 183-page book, available on the internet, tells how to set up backyard kitchens right through to large-scale productions rivalling the traditional crime syndicate operations.

A special police task force has been set up to look at the murders of Melbourne's underworld figures - 16 in five years - and the underground amphetamines trade.
One of the leads being pursued by Victorian homicide investigators is the battle for control of the cut-throat amphetamines market.

Authorities are also concerned about would-be chemists swapping recipes for illicit drugs in internet chat rooms.

A spokesman for federal Justice Minister Chris Ellison said the Government knew of the Uncle Fester manual and warned possession of it was an offence in some states. The Government, he said, was reviewing internet use for "promoting criminal offences".

Detective Inspector Paul Willingham, a chemical operations manager in the NSW drug squad, warned that apart from the bloodshed in Melbourne, there were many other dangerous spin-offs to underground manufacturing.

"The dangers of the hazardous waste and the potential injuries ... are immense. Just last week ... chemists using pseudoephedrine tablets along with flammable solvents blew the roof right off a flat."

Uncle Fester's book, which has been found in most Australian states, is one of at least four illegal publications police have stumbled across. While it tells readers the book is not for criminal use, it gives tips on how not to get busted and to keep ahead of the "narco swine". It also has detailed instructions on how to make drugs including amphetamines, methamphetamines, Ice and Ecstasy.

Amphetamine labs are a growing problem around the country, with West Australian police reporting a 35 per cent increase this year on the number of labs found. Victorian police were unable to answer questions about the amphetamine market in that state. But the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission tabled a report last week revealing amphetamines were still the biggest drug threat, with 162 labs found last year.

In NSW in the past 18 months, 72 clandestine labs have been unearthed. Gang task force officers smashed a criminal network linked to the Nomads outlaw motorcycle gang resulting in 51 arrests, 304 charges and the discovery of seven drug labs. One man was charged with manufacturing amphetamines worth about $49 million.

The Australian

Rocket launcher seized from Angels

A rocket-launcher was among a cache of weapons seized during raids on residences and premises of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang.

Armed police went to at least six locations around the greater Darwin region. The Hells Angels' clubhouse was also searched in the dawn raids.
Sixty-two police officers from CIB, the Drug Squad and the elite Territory Response Group were called out on Sunday.

``We raided the clubhouse, a couple of residences and a couple of associates' residences,'' a police source told the Northern Territory News.

Commander of Crime George Owen said the main purpose of the raids was to look for stolen property. He refused to confirm that a substantial quantity of amphetamines and illegal weapons were seized.

``That wasn't the primary focus of the warrants,'' Cdr Owen said.

``The search warrants executed on Sunday were in relation to a complaint of robbery by a victim.

``We seized items allegedly stolen from the victim _ there was quite a bit of stuff.''

Cdr Owen refused to comment on whether a high-powered rocket-launcher was also seized.

But the Northern Territory News has learned the weapon was among several items seized.

``We got a heap of stuff _ glock pistols, drugs, mainly amphetamines, and a rocket-launcher,'' the source said.

Northern Territory News


2000 given drug check on freeway
May 19 2003 at 6:30 PM
~Wolf From Atlanta~  
Outsider's secure board
2000 given drug check on freeway

ALMOST 2000 freeway motorists were stopped and their possessions tested for drugs during a two-week crackdown on drug trafficking which ended last night.

Almost every eastbound vehicle on the South Eastern Freeway between 6pm and 9pm were diverted into a truck stop 7km east of Mount Barker as part of Operation Significance.
Customs officials took swabs from possessions such as drivers' licences and papers, which were then run through a machine on-site to provide instant readings of drug traces.

Twelve people were caught with cannabis and given expiation notices while one man was charged with being in possession of ecstasy.

Senior Constable Paul Simmonds, of Mount Barker CIB, said it was the fourth checkpoint that had been set up on the freeway in the last two weeks.

"We are aware that cannabis goes out of Adelaide and amphetamines come in," he said.

"Intelligence shows the South Eastern Freeway is used by people who traffic drugs and this operation was about stopping the movement of drugs. We were targeting anything and everything."

Sen-Const Simmonds said while there were no significant arrests, Hills-Murray police learned "valuable intelligence" about drug trafficking on the freeway.

"It has firmed up some of the intelligence that we suspected in relation to the movement of drugs," he said. "It was a success."

The operation was carried out with assistance from the police Drug and Organised Crime section and detectives from Operation Avatar – an operation aimed at the illegal activities of bikie gangs.

As part of the operation, vehicles were also checked for roadworthiness by officers from Transport SA and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Checkpoints were previously established on May, 5, 16 and 14 covering both sides of the freeway near Mount Barker.

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Black Uhlan Tragicallly Killed. Apparently a Black Uhlan member was killed near Advancetown on the Gold Coast hinterland at the weekend on a ride.Condolences to his Brothers and family.


WA cops bust street gang with OMC links over drugs

The leader of a Lebanese street gang accused of allegedly running drugs in Western Australia for the Coffin Cheaters Motorcycle Club,compiled massive wealth, including $240,000 cash and $2.26m in property, police say.

A year-long undercover operation targeting the senior ranks of the Sword Boys street gang ended this week with about a third of its members arrested in raids throughout Perth.

Guns, amphetamines, ketamine tablets, cannabis and stolen property were seized and 15 gang members arrested.

Organised crime detectives will allege the organised and structured street gang had extensive and lucrative business links with members of the Coffin Cheaters.

The cops allege the Coffin Cheaters import drugs from the Eastern States and the Sword Boys act as foot soldiers for the bikers drug network in Perth.

Organised crime Det-Sen. Sgt Jim Cave alleged the Sword Boys had grown from a teenage gang involved in petty crime and expanded into a prominent organised crime group responsible for significant amphetamine and ecstasy distribution in WA.

Gang members - who often wear a miniature gold scimitar on a chain around their necks - are accused of identity fraud, stolen valuables rackets and dealing in handguns.

Last February, a former Sydney detective and National Crime Authority officer warned that Perth's ethnic gangs could rapidly expand into sophisticated organised crime outfits.

About the same time, bureau of criminal intelligence police received information that some members of the Coffin Cheaters had met members of Asian and Lebanese street gangs.

The bikers were monitored and prolific drug suppliers in Northbridge were identified.

In April last year, organised crime police launched the highly secretive Operation Glitch and quickly homed in on the man.

Police will allege he is the influential gang leader was seen dining with high-profile Coffin Cheater members.

An undercover operative was used to infiltrate the gang, gain members' trust and buy drugs from them, police will allege.

The operation was kept top secret for fear of alerting the Sword Boys who are known to be violent.

A court was recently told that gang threatened to kill a career criminal and had stolen $40,000 cash during a burglary at a gang member's house.

Sen. Sgt Cave said the man's portfolio of properties, including a $1.06m building in Ord Street, West Perth, had been frozen by asset investigation officers.

Properties in Como and St James were also frozen and may be forfeited under the Criminal Property Confiscation Act if the man is found guilty of drug offences and declared a trafficker by the courts.

Bikie associate convicted of killing
AN associate of a Perth outlaw motorcycle gang has been found guilty of the execution-style killing of another man over a money dispute.

A jury found Gypsy Jokers associate Gary Ernest White, 48, shot 35-year-old Anthony David Tapley in the shoulder, between the buttocks and at close range in the head and then incinerated his body.

White was dobbed in by Gypsy Jokers turncoat Sidney Reid, who is serving life for wilfully murdering former CIB chief Don Hancock in a car bombing in September 2001.

White's West Australian Supreme Court trial had been told the Gypsy Jokers associate killed Mr Tapley with six shots on August 19, 2001, at White's house in suburban Maddington.

The court had been told White killed Mr Tapley in a money dispute and burnt the body at a property at Northam, 97km east of Perth.

The next day, White told Reid "The barbecue went well."

The court had been told Mr Tapley's death may have remained a mystery forever if Reid had not informed on White in early 2002.

Justice Graeme Scott said: "I have some considerable difficulty in understanding the motivation, whether it's for money or drugs.

"It's an extraordinary thing to do, to shoot somebody six times."

The heavily-tattooed White, who wore a suit for the duration of the trial, had no outward reaction when the guilty verdict was read.

He will be sentenced on June 16, but he faces life behind bars.

Outside the court, Mr Tapley's emotional sister Adele Schober said it might be easy for people to draw conclusions about what her brother was like by what was said during White's trial.

"But Anthony wasn't like that. He had problems at the end of his life, but he never got a chance to turn himself around," she said.



Gypsy Jokers not bombers: turncoat

THE Gypsy Jokers motorcycle gang did not order the car bomb assassination of former CIB chief Don Hancock and racing identity Lou Lewis, bikie turncoat Sidney Reid said yesterday.

But the gang had planned to see Mr Hancock dead.

Reid, who is serving a life sentence with a 15-year minimum for the murders of both men, was giving evidence in the Supreme Court murder trial of gang associate Gary Ernest White.
"There was a plan to shoot Hancock that the Gypsy Jokers knew about, but the bombing itself was not approved by the club," he said.

Under cross-examination from defence lawyer Ron Cannon, Reid said gang founder Les Hoddy would not have approved the bombing.

However, a gang meeting after the incident had resolved that no one should ever speak about the killing again.

Reid, testifying by video link from an undisclosed location, expressed his remorse for the murder of Mr Lewis.

His testimony also is crucial in the prosecution case against Mr White, a close friend and business associate of Mr Hoddy.

Reid said Mr White had demanded money from drug user Anthony David Tapley before saying: "I'm going to make a example of you."

Reid said Mr White then produced a .38-calibre gun and shot Mr Tapley in the shoulder.

During a chase around Mr White's big Maddington property, the accused man shot three more times.

Reid said the victim, known to him only as Ant, tried to climb over a big barbed-wire gate.

"Gary got up to him and Gary just reached up and shot Ant straight through the arse," he said. "He managed to get over the gate and fell on the ground on the other side of the gate. Gary walked out of the gate, stood over Ant and shot him straight in the head." Reid said the man stopped breathing. A pool of blood appeared near his head and Mr White had told Reid and Gypsy Joker Richard Samuels to leave.

Reid said he asked Mr White if he wanted a hand to clean up, but the accused man had replied that he did "his own dirty work".

Reid said he had teased Mr White the day after the attack, saying: "It took you six shots to do that, you better go and get some target practice."

"He said something like: 'Don't worry about that, all six hit the target'."

Reid also said Mr White had told him he had gone to Northam the previous night and the "barbecue went well".

In his opening statement to the jury, crown prosecutor Ken Bates said police had found burnt human bone fragments on a Northam farm owned by a friend of Mr White.

About a week after the alleged murder, Mr White had made another statement, Reid said.

"He made a comment like: 'I will never do it like that again. I didn't expect to see what I seen. Next time I will do it off the back of a boat'."

The trial continues.

2003 West Australian Newspapers Limited


Police move on Kizon feud

A SPECIAL police operation has been launched in a bid to stop payback attacks after Raimond Fazio was viciously bashed and his Northbridge gymnasium firebombed.

Codenamed Radix, the operation was set up amid police fears that the feud which saw Mr Fazio bashed, kicked and stomped on by Coffin Cheater bikies could escalate to a violent war.
Bikies, their associates and Mr Fazio's friends and associates will be approached by police in a bid to gauge the level of animosity between the groups. Police described Radix as a risk-management operation.

Intelligence is being gathered and police have begun formulating tactics on ways to solve outbreaks of violence between the groups.

Several key witnesses to a violent brawl outside trendy Subiaco eatery Funtastico on Friday night which left Mr Fazio seriously injured have been approached by police.

As part of their normal operations, police approach senior bikies when they need to discuss relations between gang members and officers. They hope to use the same methods in Operation Radix.

Organised crime detectives will run the operation with specialist arson detectives, Wembley detectives and the bureau of criminal intelligence. Federal agencies are also involved.

Mr Fazio's facial injuries are said to be extremely serious. He has gashes on his forehead, ears and scalp and is believed to have extremely bad bruising on his torso where he was kicked and stomped on.

His long-time friend John Kizon yesterday denied reports that he had stood by and watched as Mr Fazio was bashed. Mr Kizon refused to comment specifically on the incident or acknowledge that a fight had occurred but said he was loyal and would never watch any friend being bashed without trying to stop the violence.

"I would not let any of my friends hurt each other without trying to help," Mr Kizon said.

Witnesses yesterday described how Mr Kizon tried to hold back Mr Fazio's attackers but did not throw a punch himself. He also encouraged friends of Mr Fazio to take him from the scene before the dispute escalated.

2003 West Australian Newspapers Limited


7/5/03 Bikie associate killed man, WA court told

AN associate of a Perth outlaw motorcycle gang shot a man in the chest, between the buttocks and then at close range in the head because the man owed him money, a court was told today.
Gypsy Jokers associate Gary Ernest White then incinerated the body of Anthony David Tapley, 35, in a bonfire.

White, 48, is on trial in the West Australian Supreme Court for wilfully murdering Mr Tapley on August 19, 2001, at White's house in suburban Maddington.

The court was told White killed Mr Tapley in a money dispute and burnt the body at a property at Northam, 97km east of Perth.

The next day, White told a Gypsy Jokers member, Sidney Reid, that "the barbecue went well."

Mr Tapley's death may have remained a mystery forever if Reid had not informed on White in early 2002, the court was told.

Reid is serving life for wilfully murdering former CIB chief Don Hancock in a car bombing in September 2001.

Prosecutor Ken Bates said Mr Tapley's killing occurred after White told a number of women to leave his house and organised for a man known as Rainbow to lock the front gates.

White, who was involved in the trucking business, confronted Mr Tapley in the large backyard, which housed a semi-trailer, a shed and two sea containers.

He yelled at Mr Tapley that he owed him money, before lifting his shirt and pulling out a .38 calibre stub-nosed revolver and shooting Mr Tapley in the upper body.

As Mr Tapley tried to escape, using the semi-trailer and shed as cover, three more shots were fired, the court was told.

Tapley made it to the tall front gates, which were topped by barbed wire, and scrambled up them.

"Once he made it to the top, the accused pointed a gun up Anthony's bottom and shot him once," Mr Bates said.

"Anthony fell from the top, and was lying (on the ground) on his back.

"The accused then pointed the gun to his head and fired a final shot at close range in the head."

White's counsel Ron Cannon told the court: "The defence is quite simple. He did not kill Tapley and we do not know whether Tapley is alive or dead."

The court was told DNA tests on a blood stain from the gate at White's house showed it was a partial match to Mr Tapley's. Human bones were found in the area of the bonfire.

The bones - 14 from the skull, one from the neck and four vertebrae - were severely heat damaged and tests could not determine their sex or race.

Mr Tapley's mother Elizabeth told the court her son had problems with alcohol and possibly drugs but said she did not think he was heavily into gambling because "he never had the money."

The jury was told not to infer anything from White's involvement in drug dealing and firearms and friendships with members of the Gypsy Jokers motorcycle gang.

Reid is expected to give evidence via video link as part of the 10-day trial.


WA Coffin Cheater takes on "local identities" mate..

Police fear a potential violent turf war could erupt following a brawl outside a Subiaco restaurant between a Coffin Cheater and an associate of Perth "identity" John Kizon.

Coffin Cheater Troy Mercanti, the club's sergeant-at-arms, allegedly took on gym owner and former Golden-Gloves boxer Rai Fazio in a toe-to-toe street fight, which escalated when associates of both men joined in.

Organised crime detectives are supposidly watching developments closely to see if the incident will shatter the supposed "harmonious" relationship between the Coffin Cheaters and Mr Kizon's group.

The police and media are pushing the line that the fight has the potential to re-map alliances in Perth's underworld.

According to police,two associates of Mr Kizon were known to be nominee members of the Cheaters.

Mr Fazio was treated at Royal Perth Hospital for serious facial injuries.

Eyewitnesses to Friday night's melee claimed strong words were exchanged between Mr Mercanti and Mr Fazio inside trendy Funtastico restaurant about 11.30pm.

They went out on to Rokeby Rd and got stuck into each other.

They had been dining together with other friends, including Mr Kizon, who did not join the fight.

Mr Kizon last night said Mr Fazio was in "good spirits" and he stressed that he was friends with all sides.

"I am disappointed that my friends were involved in an altercation," he said.

"I have a very good relationship with the Coffin Cheaters, ...Greeks...Italians. They are not my enemies and if any of my friends got into an altercation at Funtastico, if they did, all those people who were there are still friends of mine."

Police from the Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Taskforce attended the scene of the fight to back up local officers.

Mr Fazio and Mr Mercanti declined to provide statements to police.


Sting put witness in bikie strife
A SEX industry figure claims fake information the royal commission used to link him to drug running, the Coffin Cheaters and prostitution has damaged his reputation and put him at odds with the bikie gang.
The man, codenamed N1, who supplies strippers and skimpy barmaids, was involved in an integrity test that ensnared Sen. Const Brian Purvey and his one-time exotic dancer wife, Nikki. As part of the test, false information about N1 was put to Sen. Const Purvey to see if he would pass it on.

Senior counsel assisting, Peter Hastings QC, told the inquiry the information purporting to adversely refer to N1 was created for the purposes of the sting and was not genuine.

But N1 told The West Australian yesterday that despite the commission's attempts to suppress his identity and the evidence that the information was fake, people had immediately linked him and his 20-year-old business to the case and accepted the allegations as fact.

A complicating factor was the controversial police and strippers in the spa video released by the commission.

Although it disguised faces in the spa video, in the edited version released to the media it did not pixilate N1's company logo which appeared prominently.

"The royal commission has said the reason that I hung on to the video for 13 years is because I could use it against the cops," N1 said. "What a load of crap."

The video was made at a party N1 and his wife staged at their suburban home for 280 people.

Guests came from a wide range of jobs.

The party was a show of thanks to people who had helped N1's business.

N1 said the fake claims about his business being linked to the Coffin Cheaters, drug running and prostitution had created problems for his wife and their two children - one a law student and another at a Catholic school. It also led to a confrontation with three members of the gang at which N1 had to explain that the allegations were fake and not evidence he had given to the commission.

N1 said he enforced a strict no-drugs policy among his girls and insisted they were not involved in drug running. Although his company occasionally supplied strippers or skimpies to the Coffin Cheaters, there were no links - business or otherwise - between him, his company or the gang.

"People see something and say where there's smoke there's fire but I'm telling you there is nothing sinister going on," N1 said.

2003 West Australian Newspapers Limited
All Rights Reserved.


These 2 articles robbed from

SA biker pleads guilty to manslaughter

Adelaide Rebel Darren Schmidt pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter after being initially charged with murdering Stacy Lee Brown at suburban Para Vista last July.
Schmidts' QC and the Public Prosecution were negotiating a statement on the agreed facts of how the incident occured.
The dead women was initially described by the media as having been shot in the face.
Judge Sulan remanded the defendant in custody, awaiting submissions next month.

Cops to reopen biker death case..

NSW police Minister John Watkins has put a 1999 West Gosford biker murder back in the spotlight, by posting a $100,000 reward for info leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer.
Paul Summers 31 was shot dead on Sept 22,1999 while asleep at the Rebels then clubhouse in Yandina Rd.
The murder was at the time thought by police to be part of a possible
revenge raid, following a bomb attack 48hrs earlier on the Bandido's
clubhouse in Nth Gosford.
Evidence given at the 2001 Coroners Inquest indicated that Mr Summers was shot 3 times while sleeping on a lounge behind a roller shutter door at the clubhouse.
Five other people were in the building at the same time, when it was
showered with bullets.
Police at the time found it hard to gather evidence due to "non-cooperation"
from the Rebels.


Second biker walks free
By Sean Cowan
A BIKIE accused of a baseball bat attack has walked free after two crucial witnesses refused to tell a court the same story they told police.

Coffin Cheaters member Gavin Ronald Dixon, 34, was alleged to have bashed Jacob Roushdi Hanna at a Wanneroo park last year because Mr Hanna was dating Mr Dixon's former girlfriend.

Mr Hanna was bashed across the arms, legs and head with a baseball bat. He was also attacked with a sharp object.

But on Tuesday, the crown entered a nolle prosequi and the charge of assault occasioning grievous bodily harm with intent was dismissed.

Prosecutor Erin O'Donnell told the District Court the crown did not believe there was a reasonable prospect Mr Dixon would be convicted. "Two critical witnesses have indicated that they will not give evidence in keeping with their statements," she said.

At a preliminary hearing into the charge last year, Mr Dixon's former girlfriend, Renee Louise Jones, told the court she had not seen Mr Dixon or his co-accused, Jon William Firkins, on the night of the attack.

She and Mr Hanna testified only after Magistrate Graeme Calder issued warrants for their arrests. Ms Jones testified she and Mr Hanna had originally failed to appear for the hearing because they were trying to have the charges dropped. At the end of that hearing the charge against Mr Firkins was dismissed after the prosecution accepted there was not enough evidence.

Mr Calder had ruled evidence about a black denim jacket allegedly found in Mr Firkins' bedroom at the Coffin Cheaters' Beaconsfield clubhouse was inadmissible. The crown alleged one of the attackers wore a black denim jacket.

It was the second time in a matter of months that Mr Firkins had escaped prosecution for a serious offence. In July, charges against Mr Firkins and fellow gang members Paul Pellegrino Mule, 37, Gilbert Godfree, 30, and Colin Lee Duff, 27, were dropped after three witnesses refused to testify.

The men were accused of using baseball bats to bash two men outside the Raffles Hotel.

They were arrested minutes later when police stopped a vehicle allegedly containing a loaded .38-calibre Rossi revolver, baseball bats, batons, balaclavas, masks and gloves.

At the preliminary hearing into the Wanneroo bashing, Mr Hanna said he received more than 30 phone messages from Mr Dixon, to the effect: "I am gonna get you."

Mr Hanna told the court he heard Mr Dixon's voice from behind him on the night of the attack, saying "Is that you Jake?"

He had not responded when the person said, "So you have been my ex", Mr Hanna said.

He said he was then struck with a baseball bat and knocked to the ground. He was struck on the arms, legs and head with the weapon but did not know how many times.


Sydney 30/4

Bandidos In Court.

Four members of the Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle club will face Parramatta Court on May 8 on several charges relating to a brawl at Castle Hill Tavern on April 5. Police said the brawl broke outin the early hours of the morning and left several men injured including two security guards, one with a fractured skull and one with a broken arm.

Two Dundas men one 26 and one 22 ,have been charged with intent,assault and actual bodily harm and affray.They have been refused bail.

A 28 year old Northmead man was charged with the same offences and was granted conditional bail. (hmm........sounds fair..NOT)

The fourth man a 29 year old from North Rocks has been charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray. He has been granted conditional bail.



Swoop result of six months' work
Wednesday, 16 April 2003

A drug raid on local homes and businesses is expected to put an end to a large criminal organisation in the Ulladulla area.

Operation Beehive saw more than 70 police officers swoop simultaneously on houses in Ulladulla, Mollymook, Burrill Lake and Sussex Inlet on Thursday afternoon.

They also raided a business in Deering Street Ulladulla and a home in Mount Druitt, Sydney.

Operation Beehive was established six months ago with officers monitoring and gathering information on suspects belonging to a notorious (
hmm could be anyone.....ed)motorcycle gang and their associates.

As a result of the operation seven men and one woman were arrested and questioned at Ulladulla Police Station.

Four of the men were charged and refused bail before appearing in Nowra Court on Friday.

"The raid was carried out swiftly and the utmost precision," Detective Inspector Jeff Loy told the Times.

"The operation is the culmination of more than six months of work carried out by detectives on suspects in the local area.

"Local people should be pleased to see the police at work for them in the community, tackling the drug problem from the top," he said.

Police raided a home in Rundle Street, Ulladulla, looking for evidence to link the occupants to the manufacturing of illicit drugs, primarily methyl amphetamines (speed).

The business in Deering Street, Ulladulla, BK Surfboards, was also raided with more than 50 officers concentrating their efforts on the business in the initial stages of the operation.

Two men and one woman were arrested at the scene.

The woman was sedated and taken to Milton hospital before being released.

The business owner's home in Clissold Street, Mollymook, was also raided for further evidence.

A home in Burrill Lake was also searched by police.

Vintage bikes take to the streets
By Brooke Newstead
Tuesday, 15 April 2003

IF Bathurst residents think they have been transported back in time this week, they can be reassured it is only the influx of vintage motorcycles in the city - not a time warp.

More than 130 vintage motorcycles have taken to the roads around Bathurst as part of the annual Vintage Motorcycle Easter Tour which has been running since 1975.

The group of motorcycle enthusiasts have been based at Easts Caravan Park since Sunday and have been making day trips to places such as Carcoar and Portland.

Organiser of the tour Don Liddle said this year they have achieved record numbers.

"We started out in 1975 with just 35 riders, and this week we have 130 riders taking part in the tour,” he said.

"Every year we get a few additional riders, and the popularity of the event just keeps increasing.”

The tour is a non-profit event, and members of motorcycle clubs from across the country are invited to join in the fun each year.

Mr Liddle said this year they have people from as far as Queensland and the ACT participating.

Gun built into mobile phone
By Mark Moor
April 12, 2003

A NEW James Bond-style gun disguised as a mobile phone has been seized by police in Melbourne.

Police yesterday confirmed the weapons were on the streets after confiscating one of the phone pistols during a raid earlier this week.

They said they were the latest covert weapons being used among gangs and criminals.

Police would not divulge details of the weapon but it is believed to be similar to mobile phone guns seized in France and Britain last year.

According to the High Technology Crime Investigation Association, an international hi-tech crime organisation, the guns were first discovered during a drug raid in Amsterdam three years ago.

The US-based association is an international body of private investigators and senior-level security professionals who regularly analyse hi-tech crime and weapons.

The guns are loaded by splitting the "phone" in half and inserting .22 calibre bullets. The ammunition is hidden under the screen.

To cock the covert device, the user twists the phone, which is then fired by dialling set numbers on the phone's keypad.

The weapons found overseas are four-shot semi-automatics. They have the ability to fire four bullets before having to be reloaded, and are accurate to a distance of less than 10m.

Gun Control Australia spokesman John Crook called the mobile phone guns a curse to society.

"These guns worry us enormously as a covert gun is likely to get into the hands of the most unscrupulous of people and used in the most dangerous of ways," Mr Crook said.

"These weapons start out with no safety features, no checks and no legality. We urge the Federal Government and Customs to do everything they can to stop them."

Mr Crook said the new Australian Crime Commission must look at the problem and treat it as a matter of urgency before it proliferates in Australia.

While no guns have been found entering Australia, a spokesman for the Australian Customs Service said Customs was aware of international seizures and was constantly analysing intelligence.

The gun found in Melbourne on Tuesday was a part of a stash of other firearms, drugs and stolen Harley-Davidson motorbikes.

Detectives from the organised crime squad conducted 18 dawn raids on properties connected to the Brothers Motorcycle Club in north and western Melbourne suburbs.

The gun was believed to have been found at the Brothers headquarters in Yarraville, where two members were injured last year with gunshot wounds.

Eight members of the bikie gang were arrested and charged with possession of illegal firearms.

Herald Sun


Alleged drug ringleaders to stand trial
(Category: Biker News)
Posted by
Thursday 10 April 2003 - 08:57:37

The alleged ringleaders of a drug network involved in the supply of more than $9 million worth of amphetamines in the Hunter Valley have been committed to stand trial.

A total of 26 people, many with alleged links to the Nomads outlaw motorcycle gang, have been committed to stand trial.

Yesterday, Daniel Vigo, Deborah Began, Brett Harrison, Robert Sams and Donna Tennant were committed to stand trial, charged with supplying a large commercial quantity of illegal drugs, and if convicted, could face lengthy prison terms.

Newcastle Local Court heard allegations the five would buy large quantities of amphetamines from Melinda Love and Richard Walsh who ran the Hunter Valley operation and would then distribute the drugs to their own customers for circulation on the street.

The trial is due to begin on May 2 in Sydney's Supreme Court.

The Department of Public Prosecutions says it will be one of the biggest criminal trials in NSW history


Bikers guilty of Bandido murders

11 Apr

Two men have been found guilty of the (what has been described as) execution-style murders of three supposed, rival motorcycle club members, at an inner Sydney nightclub.

Bruce Malcolm Harrison, 42, and Constantine Georgiou, 36, were convicted of murdering Bandidos club President Michael Kulakowski and bikers Sasha Milenkovic and Rick Destoop in the basement of the Blackmarket Cafe in November 1997.

The NSW Supreme Court jury deliberated for four days before delivering the verdict.

It was the third time the former Rebels club members had stood trial for the murders.

They were first found guilty of the killings in 1999 and sentenced to a maximum 33 years jail.

Four in court over drug raid
April 11, 2003

FOUR people were due to face court on the NSW south coast today after police carried out drug raids targeting motorcycle gangs and their associates in the area.

Operation Beehives was set up six months ago to investigate the ongoing supply of methylamphetamines, police said today.

Police said at about midday yesterday, police simultaneously executed six search warrants on homes and a business in Ulladulla, Burrill Lake, Sussex Inlet and Mt Druitt.

About 70 police were involved in the sting, led by Shoalhaven detectives, assisted by general duties police and highway patrol officers from Nowra and Ulladulla, as well as officers from the State Protection Group and the Dog Squad.

As a result of the sting, seven men and a woman were arrested and taken to Ulladulla police station for questioning.

A 42-year-old Mollymook man has been charged with supplying a prohibited drug.

An Ulladulla man, aged 27, was charged with supplying a prohibited drug, manufacturing a prohibited drug and other drug-related matters.

A 29-year-old Ulladulla man was charged with possessing drug-making ingredients and manufacturing a prohibited drug.

A Burrill Lak



e man, aged 32, was charged with threatening a judicial officer, obtaining details of a police officer and goods in custody.

All four were refused bail and will appear this morning in Nowra Local Court.

A 35-year-old Ulladulla man's been released on conditional bail and will face Milton Local Court on April 24, charged with two counts of supplying a prohibited drug.

A 17-year-old Sussex Inlet boy has been issued a cannabis caution, while a seventh man, also from Sussex Inlet, and a Mollymook woman have been released without charge.

Pedophile cop jailed for brutalising children

April 8 2003

A former Queensland country police officer who handcuffed boys and sodomised them with a baton was jailed for 13 years today.

Shane Bevan Daines, 45, a lawn mowing contractor of Goondiwindi, last month pleaded guilty in the Brisbane District Court to a total of 38 sex charges between 1976 and 2001.

There were seven victims, all boys, aged between eight and 15, three of whom were sodomised.

All the victims were living in country towns in south-western Queensland near where Daines was posted as a policeman.

During the trial the court heard Daines committed some of the offences in a police barracks using handcuffs and inserting his police baton into a boy's anus.

One boy was molested while he was doing work experience, and two came from families of other police officers.

Daines, who grew up in Chinchilla, was invalided out of the police force in 1995 with a heart condition.

However, at the time the police investigation started he was working as a civilian in the Warwick police station.

Daines, who achieved the rank of senior constable, served at stations throughout the state's south-west, including Longreach and Warwick.

In his sentencing today, Judge Ian Wylie said he considered Daines a homosexual and a pedophile who would probably offend again.

"As such I am satisfied that a substantial risk exists that you will hereafter commit a further offence of a sexual nature upon or in relation to a child under the age of 16 years," Judge Wylie said.

He sentenced Daines to periods of imprisonment ranging from six months to 10 years on 34 of the 38 charges, to be served concurrently.

Following clarification of the four remaining counts during today's hearing, Judge Wylie ordered another three year sentence on top of the original 10 years.

He also ordered that after Daines was released from prison he report any changes of his address to police for a period of 20 years.




Hells Angels watched by AVATAR

5 Apr

Hells Angels on their way to their National Run in Darwin, were stopped and questioned at a roadblock in Pt Augusta, by SA northern state police and detectives from Operation AVATAR.

The cops allegedly issued 20 traffic infridgement notices and defected 16 motorcycles. (wankers..)

One man was arrested on an outstanding warrant for minor offences.

Police reinforcements are on standby as about 100 Hells Angels ``invade'' the Top End this weekend.

Bikies have come from all over Australia on the gang's annual ``run'' to celebrate the Darwin chapter's 10th anniversary.

Assistant Commissioner John Daulby said the police's response to the Hells Angels would be measured. But he warned that it could be ``elevated'' if necessary.

Mr Daulby said the Darwin chapter was law abiding _ but the gang nationally had a history of bad behaviour.

Police had tried to enter into a ``much more productive dialogue'' with the organisers of the bikies' run _ without success.

``We're not particularly perturbed about their numbers and their presence,'' Mr Daulby said. ``But we would expect them to act as any normal tourist would in the NT.''

Police Minister Paul Henderson said the behaviour of the bikies was being monitored.

Hells Angels began arriving in Darwin yesterday.

Some have spent the past five days travelling from Adelaide through Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and Katherine.

Some stayed at Adelaide River last night. Others are believed to be at the Darwin chapter's Giraween Rd headquarters at Howard Springs.

At least 95 are expected to stay at the Top End hotel in Mitchell St, occupying 40 rooms.

Hotel manager Doug Edwards said: ``I've had bike groups stay at my hotel for many years and there have never been any problems.''

Story source: Northern Territory News


Angel Run

Police reinforcements are on standby as about 100 Hells Angels ``invade'' the Top End this weekend.

Bikies have come from all over Australia on the gang's annual ``run'' to celebrate the Darwin chapter's 10th anniversary.

Assistant Commissioner John Daulby said the police's response to the Hells Angels would be measured.
But he warned that it could be ``elevated'' if necessary.

Mr Daulby said the Darwin chapter was law abiding _ but the gang nationally had a history of bad behaviour.

Police had tried to enter into a ``much more productive dialogue'' with the organisers of the bikies' run _ without success.

``We're not particularly perturbed about their numbers and their presence,'' Mr Daulby said. ``But we would expect them to act as any normal tourist would in the NT.''

Police Minister Paul Henderson said the behaviour of the bikies was being monitored.

Hells Angels began arriving in Darwin yesterday.

Some have spent the past five days travelling from Adelaide through Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and Katherine.

Some stayed at Adelaide River last night. Others are believed to be at the Darwin chapter's Giraween Rd headquarters at Howard Springs.

At least 95 are expected to stay at the Top End hotel in Mitchell St, occupying 40 rooms.

Hotel manager Doug Edwards said: ``I've had bike groups stay at my hotel for many years and there have never been any problems.''Story source: Northern Territory News



BIKIE crime gangs are behind the flood of illegal amphetamines on Australia's streets, says the Australian Crime Commission.

A Commission report says involvement of outlaw motorcycle gangs in drug manufacturing is probably more widespread than previously thought.

The Commission's Australian Illicit Drug Report 2001/2002, says the increased number and weight of import seizures may indicate increasing co-operation between crime groups affected by the heroin shortage.

There is a need to establish a dependable supply of heroin, forcing crime groups to collaborate.

"Crime syndicates have been observed taking on new roles, and formerly antagonistic groups are collaborating," the report says.
"Intelligence continues to reveal the diversification of roles and responsibilities in the methylamphetamine production process.

"Ethnic crime groups not previously associated with the production and distribution of amphetamine-type stimulants have been observed co-operating - particularly in relation to the distribution of MDMA (ecstasy).

"The creating and dissolving of allegiances demonstrate the overriding consideration in the illicit drug market: the desire for quick profits."

Domestically, outlaw motorcycle gangs have a controlling influence on the distribution of amphetamine-type stimulants, and feature prominently in the manufacture of methylamphetamine, the report says.

"Given that these groups often employ associates to produce the drug on their behalf, it is likely their actual involvement is even more significant than is immediately apparent."

Those manufacturing for motorcycle gangs can access gang distribution systems and source precursor chemicals through interstate contacts.

The gangs are also establishing links in South-East Asia and are increasingly obtaining precursors for amphetamines from Thailand and Vietnam.

The number of clandestine drug labs uncovered in Australia rose more than 19 per cent in 2001/2002 - with 240 labs detected, 24 of those in Victoria.

A disturbing by-product of Australia's amphetamine-type stimulant and cannabis production markets is the trend towards more potent drugs.

"Although considered 'more bang for your buck', these potent forms are increasingly being linked to psychotic and violent behaviour," the report says.

Increasingly, mobile laboratories are being uncovered in rented, business or industrial premises and self-storage units.

"The lure of quick profits continues to drive the rise in domestic production of methylamphetamine," the report says.

A record quantity of amphetamine-type stimulants has been detected on importation during 2001/2002 and the average weight of each seizure has risen from 1.7kg to 2.1kg.

There has been a 56 per cent fall in the number of people arrested for heroin-related offences.

Yet intelligence sources have warned state and federal authorities the glut of heroin from Afghanistan will flow to our shores.

The removal of the Taliban government saw Afghan opium production estimated at 3400 tonnes in last year's growing season.

That is 18 times the amount produced the previous year by one of the world's largest sources of heroin.


28/3 WA

DRUG traffickers, bikers and crime barons have inadvertently given nearly $1.2 million to 25 community projects aimed at helping victims or preventing crime.

The State Government announced yesterday the projects which would share in what is to be at least an annual allocation of funds seized under WA's controversial Criminal Property Confiscation Act.

Programs steering young people into positive activities, support for murder victims, parents of wayward children and men recovering from alcoholism were included.
The grants ranged from $5000 for a community art project targeting young people using drugs or at risk of offending, to $100,000, the maximum, for a one-stop shop resource centre for domestic violence victims.

Director of Public Prosecutions Robert Cock QC said the assets were mainly taken from drug-related or organised crime offenders, including members of outlaw motorcycle gangs.

Attorney-General Jim McGinty said a committee including representatives of the DPP, police, health, justice, his office and the Office of Crime Prevention decided which of the 140 applications succeeded.

Mr McGinty wanted at least about two-thirds of forfeited crime proceeds to go to community and local government bodies, not swallowed up by State bureaucracies or in paying for police and DPP lawyers.

Mr Cock said so far about $1.9 million had been forfeited to the State under the confiscation laws, passed in 2000. Police currently had frozen property worth about $25 million yet to be forfeited.

He said with more resources it was likely police and DPP staff could achieve more. His confiscations staff were fully occupied in managing assets already seized, such as renewing orders keeping the property frozen.

It was hoped the State would yield at least $2 million a year in assets actually forfeited to the State. Not all that was seized was kept, for reasons including people being acquitted of charges.

About $391,000 of confiscation proceeds was given to his office last year to pay for confiscation work. Smaller amounts went to police and other government departments involved in applying the Act.

Mr McGinty said taking money from criminals to help victims of crime and to implement crime prevention projects was justice in its purest sense.

2003 West Australian Newspapers Limited


Kidnapped man in Middlemore hospital


Police have closed their investigation into the violent kidnapping of an Auckland gang president's son after he refused to co-operate with them today.

Steven Weavers was missing for nearly 24 hours after he was beaten with a wheel brace and stabbed by two men who arrived at a rural South Auckland address on Wednesday night.

He is tonight being treated in Middlemore Hospital.

The kidnappers also held a knife at the throat of another man and said "we'll be back".

They bundled Mr Weavers in the boot of his own late-model Holden Commodore and sped off in both cars.

Police began a major investigation after finding a large amount of blood at the scene and "fearing the worst" for his safety given the description of the attack during the targeted kidnapping.

But the 19-year-old Mr Weavers was found this afternoon by members of the Highway 61 motorcycle gang and refused to make a statement when visited by detectives at his Middlemore Hospital bedside.

The officer who had been leading the kidnap hunt, Detective Senior Sergeant Gary Lendrum, closed the case afterwards.

"We have a lot of complaints from law-abiding citizens in South Auckland," he said. "We would rather look at them and will not be investigating this matter any further."

Mr Weavers is the son of Kevin Weavers - known as "Link" - the president of the Highway 61 Auckland chapter.

When the Herald visited the Highway 61 headquarters in Manurewa a spokesman said they had found Steven Weavers "with our own resources and without the help of the police". "We look after our own."

The spokesman said Steven Weavers' injuries "were not too bad". He said said the refusal to make a statement to police "will make it pretty difficult for them to get any kind of conviction".



Bikie trial for threats to dog deferred
By Liza Kappelle

A COURT hearing centred on a senior Gypsy Jokers bikie accused of threatening to kill a drug sniffer dog has been deferred until October because there were too many witnesses to hear today.

Robert Darren Stupar, 35, was due to be tried by a Perth magistrate today with threatening to cause detriment to a Department of Justice drug detection dog called Polly, at Perth's Acacia Prison in January.

However, delays in the court meant the matter did not get up in time for all 10 prosecution and two defence witnesses to give evidence today.

Police plan to allege that Stupar made threats against Polly when she was on duty sniffing visitors for drugs.

Stupar had arrived at the prison to visit an inmate in January when Polly allegedly showed a repeated interest in him, prompting guards to refuse the bikie a contact visit.

Stupar then allegedly threatened to kill the dog.

His trial was deferred until October 3, and Stupar's $5000 bail was renewed.

A clause preventing Stupar from visiting Acacia jail was deleted from his bail conditions after the court was told he was the main visitor to his younger brother - who has been in the jail for almost seven years.

Dodgy licences for bike gang

A MOTOR registration officer yesterday admitted taking money from a motorcycle gang to issue illegal driving licences and car registration certificates.

William Charles Flynn, 53, pleaded guilty in Brisbane Magistrates' Court to three counts of official corruption.

Flynn, who worked at Queensland Transport's offices in Brisbane, is among several people charged over a licence scam that involved the Rebels motorcycle gang.

Flynn, who has since moved to Sydney, issued drivers' licences and registration certificates to friends and associates of the gang who would ring up and quote a password to organise a time to attend the office.

The applicants would undergo an eye test only before being issued with either a licence or a certificate.

During a brief hearing yesterday Flynn told the court he wanted to plead guilty.

Brisbane Magistrate Gordon Dean allowed Flynn bail until his sentencing in the Queensland District Court this year.

No ferry bond for bowlers


THE TT-Line had not charged a group of tenpin bowlers a bond to travel on the Spirit of Tasmania, as it controversially did with a group of motorcyclists, a bowler said yesterday.

Todd Smith said the bowlers had booked a trip for Easter this year.

"We weren't charged a bond and we weren't asked for one," he said.

TT-Line had claimed it was not discriminating against the Rebels Motorcycle Club when it asked each member of the bikers' group for a $200 bond.

TT-Line spokeswoman Simone Ferrier had said the policy was not discriminatory and applied to all groups whether footballers or bikers.

But Mr Smith said 18 tenpin bowlers aged 25 to 50 had merely been required to pay $300 to secure the booking.

Ms Ferrier was not able to be contacted for comment yesterday.


Bikers angered by TT-Line bond request

THE TT-Line has denied discriminating against members of a motorcycle club by forcing them to pay a bond before they could board the Spirit of Tasmania.

State secretary of the Rebels Motorcycle Club Allan MacKenzie accused TT-Line of unfairly treating the group of 16, four of whom were not members of the club, which had booked to travel in October.

TT-Line has demanded a $200 bond from each member in addition to the fare to "cover any damage or inconvenience caused to other passengers".

But Mr MacKenzie said his club had travelled on the Spirit of Tasmania several times in the past and never been asked for a bond.

"Our trips have been incident-free," he said.

"When I rang TT-Line to find out what their policy was, I asked if the same bond would be demanded if it was a group of golfers travelling.

"I was told no, the bond was because we were a motorcycle club."

Mr MacKenzie said he was tired of being discriminated against because his hobby was riding a motorbike and being in a club.

"We're not a bad group of people. We have families, we work, we pay taxes, we pay rates and have mortgages," he said.

"In the last year we've raised $13,000 and donated it to the children's ward."

TT-Line spokeswoman Simone Ferrier denied the policy was discriminatory.

"This applies to all groups whether they be footballers or bikers," she said.

"This policy has been in place for 10 years and I can only imagine that in the past the club members may have booked as individuals and it would not have come up on our records as a group booking so no bond was required.

"We require the bond as part of our asset-protection strategy," Ms Ferrier said.

"Groups travelling in groups can pose a threat to our facilities.

"It's unfair if a group damages property and reduces the quality of service for other passengers."

Ms Ferrier said the bond would be refunded if there was no damage.



Bikie gang drugs,weapons seized


A LISTENING device was among the items recovered in a series of early-morning raids yesterday that targeted outlaw motorcycle gangs.

Five police raids, conducted simultaneously in the northern suburbs at 8.30am, resulted in the seizure of a number of firearms, 37 cannabis plants, hydroponic equipment as well as stolen property.

Two people were arrested.

Sawn-off shotguns and rifles that had serial numbers removed were also confiscated.

"These raids today were part of an ongoing operation into the unlawful and criminal activity of outlaw motorcycle gangs," the officer in charge, Inspector John Gerlach, said.

Police also seized an expandable baton, two vehicles, a trailer-long-armed listening device on a boom.

"The listening device by itself carries a term of 10 years imprisonment," Inspector Gerlach said.

The raids – on properties at Newton, Hillcrest, Hillbank and Burton – were conducted by police from the Avatar Outlaw Motorcycle section in conjunction with Elizabeth police and the Drug and Organised Crime Investigation branch.

A 23-year-old man and a 20-year old woman, from Burton, were arrested on charges relating to cannabis, firearms and stolen property.


e man was also charged in relation to the listening device.

A 52-year-old Hillbank man was also reported.

Further charges are expected to be laid as police continue their investigations.

End of the road for Barry Sheene, motor sport's reckless imp

March 11 2003

Barry Sheene ... "a guy who put a smile on a lot of people's faces".

He was a carefree Cockney who could fling a growling, bucking motorcycle around with more panache and abandon than anyone.

In the rugged, bone-cracking world of grand prix motorcycle racing, Barry Sheene was a happy-go-lucky hero without ego or pretension.

Sheene, 52, who died on the Gold Coast yesterday after suffering stomach and throat cancer for several years, was British by birth but Australian by nature.

To help his arthritis Sheene traded in the grey skies of England for the Queensland coast in the early 1990s.

His world 500cc championship titles in 1976 and 1977 were testament to an innate talent, while his frequent trips to the hospital pointed to reckless bravery.

As if to relieve the pressure of teetering on that fine line between staying ahead and staying alive, Sheene enjoyed life to the full off the track.

With fellow party-seeker, the ex-formula one driver Gerhard Berger, he represented the last remnants of the fast-lane lifestyle epitomised by 1976 formula
one world champion James Hunt.

Barry Sheene smoked, he drank, he arrived at racetracks in white limousines with a model on each arm. He seemed, at least in his early days, to expose himself to as much danger off the track as he did on it.

The monotonous existence of diet, exercise and abstinence - now virtually compulsory among grand prix racers - was not for him. His language was as spicy as his life and he took pride in getting to the point right away.

Five-time world 500cc motorcycle champion Mick Doohan said: "Barry left his mark as a motorcycle racer, but he was much more than that. He was a guy who put a smile on a lot of people's faces."

Born in London in 1950, Sheene was five when his father Frank built him his first bike. He was a professional racer by 1968 and collected the British 750cc title in each of the following two years.

Between 1975 and 1982, Sheene won more international 500cc and 750cc grand prix titles than any other rider.

At practice for the 1982 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Sheene was lucky to escape with his life after ploughing into a stranded Yamaha on the track at 260kmh.

He was to return to racing but by that stage his body was a network of nuts and bolts and teams would not take a risk with him.

His colourful lifestyle and distinctive accent attracted television to motor cycle racing and he was sought out for commercials and numerous appearances on primetime. He even appeared at Covent Garden in Tosca with Maria Callas.

After moving to the Gold Coast, Sheene worked as a commentator for Ten, covering motorcycle grand prix and V8 Supercar races. He is survived by his wife Stephanie and two children.



8/3 Nomad Bailed

An alleged high-ranking bikie gang member charged with 30 firearm-related offences was granted bail yesterday after revealing his newborn daughter was fighting for life in hospital.
The 32-year-old man faced Newcastle Court after police allegedly seized a dozen illegal weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in a raid on his panel-beating business.

Ten officers attached to Strikeforce Bombaca executed a search warrant on Superior Body Repairs at Cardiff on Friday.

They allegedly found rifles, shotguns, hand guns, silencers and bullets in a false floor in the spray-painting booth.

A hand gun and two bulletproof vests were found in the office area of the Torrens Avenue business.

Among the weapons seized were two sawn-off shotguns, a Browning .22 calibre rifle, a .45 calibre pistol with a silencer, a Ruger rifle with scope and a rare machine pistol with a silencer.

The man, whose occupation was listed as tradesperson, has been identified by police as the alleged sergeant-at-arms of the Nomads bikie gang.

He allegedly declined to be interviewed by police after his arrest but the facts sheet said he received a $500 weekly allowance from the panel-beating business, which he owned with his wife.

In applying for bail, the man asked court registrar Mr Piper to consider the "humanity of my family", which he had to support. His wife and two of his infant children were present in court during his brief appearance.

"I have a five-week-old daughter on life support up at John Hunter Hospital at the moment," he said.

The court registrar noted the man was already on bail, having faced Newcastle Court last month on breaking-and-entering with intent and car-stealing matters but had no previous convictions.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Garth Brennan opposed bail, saying there was a strong case against the accused regarding the "serious" firearms offences.

He is scheduled to reappear in court on Wednesday.



POLICE raid on a Newcastle business today uncovered more than 30 guns allegedly belonging to the outlaw Nomads motorcycle gang.

The raid, by 10 members of the NSW gangs squad, discovered the illegal haul hidden in a spray booth at a panel beating factory in Torrens Road, Cardiff.

"These included a machine gun with silencer, a large number of pistols, ammunition, longarms, sawn-off shotguns and bullet proof vests," gangs squad commander Detective Superintendent Ken McKay told reporters.
Det Supt McKay said the discovery of a machine gun with a silencer was "very unusual".

A 31-year-old man, allegedly the sergeant-at-arms of the biker gang, has been arrested.

He'll be charged with in-excess of 25 charges relating to the firearms and other prohibitive weapons," Det Supt McKay said.

The man would be refused bail and was due to face Newcastle Court tomorrow morning.

Det Supt McKay said police were hopeful of further arrests.

"The operation was part of a continuing watching brief on outlaw motorcycle gangs right throughout the state," he said.

A similar raid 18 months ago on the Nomads headquarters had recovered more than 50 weapons including machine guns and high powered weaponry, Det Supt McKay said.


Bikie guilty of shooting gang rivals
By Eloise Dortch
SENIOR Rebels bikie Gavin John McMaster has been found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent over the shooting of two associates of a rival gang in a Bunbury nightclub.

But McMaster, 35, was acquitted of two counts of attempted murder in relation to the incident on February 9 last year.

The maximum penalty for causing grievous bodily harm with intent is 20 years jail while the maximum for attempted murder is life imprisonment.

Justice Len Roberts-Smith remanded McMaster in custody for a pre-sentence psychiatric report.

McMaster will be sentenced in Perth at a date to be fixed.

During the seven-day trial attended by family and supporters of McMaster and Coffin Cheater bikies, witnesses and media were banned from making any reference to bikies or motorcycle clubs in case it prejudiced the jury.

Doctors said Andrew Geldert, who was shot in the chest, and James Garland, shot in the lower abdomen, would have died if they had not got emergency surgery.

Mr Geldert and Mr Garland, said to be Coffin Cheaters associates at the time, were drinking heavily on the night of February 8-9 before getting into an argument with McMaster and three friends at the Lord Forrest Hotel's Area One nightclub

McMaster, dressed in black clothes and a black hat, pulled a pistol from his clothing and fired at least five shots. Several witnesses described seeing a tall, solidly built man dressed in black with a black hat firing a gun. The gunman left quickly after the shooting.

An off-duty nightclub security worker who knew McMaster said he saw McMaster shoot repeatedly at Mr Geldert and Mr Garland as they sought refuge under a pool table.

Prosecutor Philip Urquhart said a 19-year-old girl hit in the neck by a bullet fragment was lucky not to have been hurt seriously.

The West Australian understands Mr Garland is now a full member of the Coffin Cheaters.

Mr Garland, Mr Geldert and Mr Geldert's brother, Matthew Geldert, who had gone to Area One with McMaster, testified that they had been drinki

These guys are as much bikers as I am Elle McPherson, but its interesting.....

Mongrel Mob as big as police force, says ACT

04 March 2003


Police are massively outnumbered by gangs and the Mongrel Mob alone is almost as big as the police force, ACT NZ police spokeswoman Muriel Newman says.

"Answers to my parliamentary questions show that sworn police officers are outnumbered more than three to one by gang affiliates," she said.

"New Zealand has only 7104 sworn police officers, to combat more than 21,882 gang affiliates.

"What is more disturbing is the fact that this gang affiliate estimate is drawn only from the country's larger gangs – such as the Mongrel Mob, Black Power and Nomads – there are many more criminal gangs operating around New Zealand. As it is, New Zealand's largest gang, the Mongrel Mob, almost outnumbers police on its own."

The figures showed that in 2002 there were 6614 Mongrel Mob affiliates followed by 5875 Black Power affiliates.

Dr Newman said yesterday that Police Minister George Hawkins should urgently consider raising police funding so police could effectively combat the country's "rapidly growing gang problem".

"The Government must act, and act quickly ... It must give police the mandate and resources to adopt a zero tolerance approach to crime, and effectively clamp down on criminal gangs".

The lack of police resources could be seen in the "huge explosion" of the street drug methamphetamine, with the number of manufacture operations detected by police having grown 300 per cent in the past year alone, she said.

"This gang-controlled industry is proven to be a major contributor to increasing violent and aggressive crime throughout the country."

A spokeswoman for Mr Hawkins said budget bids were being considered but that the police's level of funding was the highest it had ever been, at just under $1 billion.

Police did have the resources and the mandate, the spokeswoman said. She also questioned the reliability of the gang figures.

The increasing number of clandestine methamphetamine laboratories being detected and closed down was positive because more criminals were being caught, she said.

Meanwhile, Wairoa police are continuing their investigation into a gang-related double shooting in the town last Friday. Detective Sergeant Stephen Smith said police wanted to speak to a male occupant of the Hunterbrown St property where the shooting happened as it appeared he was there at the time of the shooting.

The two men injured were still in Hawke's Bay Hospital in Hastings yesterday. The gangs involved were the Mongrel Mob and Black Power.

Police inquiry claims open appeal doors
By Julie Butler
ALARMING claims at the police royal commission of police perjury and attempts to pervert the course of justice could mean dozens of people had been wrongly convicted of crimes, according to the WA Criminal Lawyers' Association.

Association president Hylton Quail said if allegations made to the inquiry last week - by former detectives codenamed L5 and L1 - were accurate, it suggested many WA convictions might be overturned on appeal.

While L5's evidence so far had been very general, in time it might give many people grounds to come forward and say they had been telling the truth in the past when they claimed they had been beaten up or verballed. Mr Quail said that after the inquiry, the WA Government should give a big boost to Legal Aid to ensure such people had help to pursue appeals.

In NSW, at least 17 people had convictions quashed following admissions of tainted evidence at the Wood royal commission into police corruption.

NSW Legal Aid Commission director of criminal law Doug Humphries said yesterday that a further three appeals were still in process and the commission was confident they would result in convictions being quashed. Other cases were being handled by private law firms.

He said that after the Wood inquiry a special Legal Aid grant had enabled a royal commission unit to be set up, employing two solicitors for two years.

It had dealt with 135 applications for legal aid to consider fresh appeals.

Generally such appeals were merited where the person had maintained their innocence and claimed they had been a victim of tainted evidence.

WA Law Society president Elizabeth Heenan said if the commission's findings were that it was likely there had been a significant number of unsafe convictions then the society would hope the WA Government would make money available for appeal investigations.

Attorney-General Jim McGinty said he would await the commission's findings before considering the need for Legal Aid grants.

March 04, 2003

40 officers named by police witness

By Roy Gibson
A FORMER police officer told the Kennedy royal commission yesterday of his career of corrupt and criminal conduct stretching almost 20 years.

The officer - codenamed L5 - implicated almost 40 officers and former officers.

He told the commission how he and his colleagues bashed suspects, falsified confessions, helped themselves to cash and property recovered from robberies and forged search warrants. If their actions were challenged in court, they lied their way out of it.

He even admitted sharing cash taken from a murder suspect who had been shot dead by the police tactical response group.

He also confessed to making a hoax bomb threat to the offices of construction giant Multiplex and chairman John Roberts' home.

L5 and colleagues at Scarborough CIB were then paid $20 an hour by Mr Roberts for private security work.

In more than five hours in the witness box, L5 rattled off dates, cases, incidents and name after name of allegedly corrupt police as he went through his career from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s. The names were suppressed by Commissioner Geoffrey Kennedy.

In the most damaging day of evidence since the commission opened last year, L5 detailed how, bored by routine police work, he became an undercover officer in the drug squad. He quickly found himself smoking cannabis, dealing in drugs and stealing seized drugs so they could be sold by informants.

L5 told the commission that when he first saw corrupt behaviour by colleagues he had a choice to make. "I wanted to be accepted and I went along with it," he said. "Maybe I was naive. Now I know I was pressured into it."

L5 said he had assaulted suspects 20 to 50 times. "Maybe on a couple of occasions I lost control," he said. "I would end up wrestling on the floor with somebody, punching and kicking. But as a general rule, it was more a case of just slaps and some punches.

"Cricket bats and baseball bats were quite popular. I couldn't work out why there were so many in the police stations."

He once saw detectives stomping on a suspect's broken arm. "The guy was in what I would describe as excruciating pain," he said.

In 1987, L5 said he was sent to the North-West and was involved with the fatal shooting by the TRG of German tourist Josef Schwab, who was wanted for five murders.

L5 said he was given a share of money which was recovered from the glove box of Schwab's car. When officers returned to Kununurra, some bought pink Argyle diamonds from a jeweller's shop.

He also described how he and a squad of about 10 colleagues divided up about $4000 in Japanese yen which had been stolen from the home of a golf tutor.

February 24, 2003