THE noose is tightening around outlaw
bikie organisations on the Gold Coast with new
anti-organised crime laws which were passed through
Parliament last night.
The laws will give the Crime and Misconduct Commission
the power to seize cash, property, cars and other assets
of the ``Mr Bigs'' of bikie and organised crime gangs
charged or convicted of serious crimes, unless they can
prove they were earned legally.
The laws will be enacted as the Supreme Court later this
year hears debate on an application to declare the Gold
Coast chapter of the Finks a criminal organisation a
move which would see them disbanded and chased out of
the city. But the new ``unexplained wealth'' laws have
been criticised for going too far and becoming a cash
grab for the State Government.
Similar laws have been in place in Western Australia for
the past five years.
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said the laws targeted
the ``ill-gotten gains'' of criminals.
``While such criminals may risk imprisonment, they must
now contemplate losing all their assets,'' he said.
``It's about going after the Mr Bigs of the crime
Mermaid Beach MP Ray Stevens said the laws would help
fight back against bikies infiltrating the Gold Coast.
``While many do have legitimate businesses, the ones
involved in illegal activity are going to get caught,''
But Gold Coast criminal lawyer Bill Potts said the move
was a step too far because the laws allowed the Crown to
seize any assets, not just those bought from the
proceeds of crime.
``This is effectively unjust enrichment of the state,''
``Just about everything you've ever owned can be taken
away by the Crown.''
He said the laws were also a reversal of the onus of
proof, because the target of the seizure order had to
prove their assets were legally obtained.
Under existing laws, the Crime and Misconduct Commission
in 2003 restrained more than $4 million in property from
Finks bikie kingpin Charlie Cannon, including his Jaguar
car, Paradise Point waterfront mansion and two
The Gold Coast has had its image badly tarnished by the
image of bikie violence running rife through the city.
In one of the most public examples, Finks bikie Mark
James Graham allegedly opened fire on rival gang member
Jacques Teamo in broad daylight in the Robina Town