Mongols bikies scope out Gold Coast for new club
Tony Moore and Marissa Calligeros
Bikies face world's toughest laws
The Queensland government vows to do "whatever needs to be done" to force bikies to leave the state, amidst a crackdown on gangs and businesses with links to bikies. Nine News
- Links between police, drugs and corruption on the Gold Coast
- Allegations of extortion on the Gold Coast
A member of a violent US-based motorcycle gang is eyeing off new territory for the club on the Gold Coast.
The newest club vying for a slice of the party strip is the Southern California-based Mongols, sworn international enemies of the Hells Angels.
Mongols bikie gang members show interest in setting up a club on the Gold Coast.
The patched member from the Mongols' France-based chapter has moved to the Gold Coast and has aligned himself with the Finks, Fairfax Media has been told.
The Mongols member, who also has links to Germany, has been meeting with associates in Sydney and is understood to be in talks with southern chapters about establishing an operation on the Gold Coast.
The Mongols have existing chapters in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney's North Shore and the New South Wales central coast.
Nine outlaw gangs are now based along the length of the Gold Coast's Glitter Strip.
The news comes just days after a violent brawl involving Bandidos members outside a Broadbeach restaurant.
And on Monday the state government revealed plans for tough new anti-criminal gang laws.
The tighter controls on bikies follows three decades of inquiries into police, corruption allegations, and organised crime on the Gold Coast.
The Mongols club, which began in Southern California in 1969 and now operates in 14 US states and 13 countries, has reportedly established a temporary base at Carrara.
Money is behind bikie gangs' attraction to the Gold Coast, University of Queensland organised crime expert Dr Andreas Schloenhardt said on Monday.
"The problem is not new at all," he said.
"There is a substantial drug market on the Gold Coast and a big consumer population consisting of both locals and tourists.
"As a holiday destination and party capital, it is not unsurprising that many drugs are in high demand."
Just how much of the conflict is directly or indirectly linked to illicit drugs is anyone's guess, Dr Schloenhardt said.
"Some of the violence may be just rivalry, revenge, and emotive."
Dr Schloenhardt said the Gold Coast's transient population and lateral geography had enabled bikie gangs to gain a strong foothold in the region.
"Policing is also somewhat decentralised," he said.
"Some of the enforcement problems seem to stem from the fact that the greater Gold Coast area is not one homogenous city with one centre, but just a very large number of suburbs."
Although a September 2010 Crime and Misconduct Commission public hearing was told Gold Coast nightclubs were forced to pay extortion, there was no evidence of this from the Gold Coast Central Chamber of Commerce.
Meanwhile more than 1065 inspections of God Coast licensed clubs have been run in the past three years.
Gold Coast police have championed their efforts to stamp out bikie-related crime – more than 400 bikies and their associates have been nabbed on almost 1100 charges including murder, assault and weapons possession since January last year.
Investigators maintain public brawls, including that between Finks and Nomads bikies which occurred outside a Coolangatta restaurant during the annual Cooly Rocks On festival in June this year, have been entirely self-motivated, simply "flare-ups between hot-headed individuals", as described by one police officer.
"There are, perhaps, more players on the scene and the growing population and the size of the markets attracts more people who want to try their luck [on the Gold Coast]," Dr Schloenhardt said.
"Many of them may operate as gangs, including bikers, but many operate as individuals or loose networks, that remain much less visible."
Bikie gangs on the Gold Coast
Bandidos - based at Broadbeach. Headquarters located near Pacific Fair Shopping Centre
Finks - based at Molendinar. Headquarters located at Wongawallan
Black Uhlans - based at West Burleigh. Headquarters in an industrial estate west of Burleigh
Hells Angels - based at Broadbeach. Headquarters close to the Bandidos clubhouse
Rebels - based at Nerang
Nomads - based at Nerang and Robina
Lone Wolves - based at Currumbin
Highway 61 - based at Logan
Mongols - US-based outlaw motorcycle gang thought to be moving to the Gold Coast