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More than 330 arrests in bikie crackdown



More than 330 members of outlaw motorcycle gang the Rebels have been arrested as part of a crackdown by a national taskforce being run by 14 law enforcement agencies.

The Attero National Taskforce was formed in February to break the illegal bikie gang.

The Rebels has been targeted because it is the largest outlaw motorcycle gang in Australia, operating in every state and territory, and is expanding overseas.

Paul Jevtovic from the Australian Crime Commission warned the Rebels had penetrated legitimate industries, which they used to commit crimes.

"We're about breaking the business model of organised crime," Mr Jevtovic said of the taskforce, which is a historic collaboration between 14 national agencies.

"It is about hardening the environment so they can't continue to generate profits."

The Rebels motorcycle gang is estimated to have more than 1500 members operating across Australia.

Since February, law enforcement agents have laid more than 500 charges relating to violence, stalking, kidnapping, assault, drug offences and weapons offences.

David Hudson, the chair of the Serious and Organised Crime Coordination Committee (SOCCC) which established the task force, said bikie gangs were capable of harming the community through illegal activities including violence, extortion, illicit drug trafficking and money laundering.

"The outlaw motorcycle gang the Rebels and outlaw motorcycle gangs generally are a continuing threat to the very fabric of our community," Mr Hudson told reporters in Melbourne on Wednesday.

"The national taskforce Attero is very much focused on making the environment hostile.

"... The ongoing work of the SOCCC is looking at high-risk groups across Australia and co-ordination of our law enforcement activities to minimise the risk to Australia."

Mr Jevtovic said lessons learnt by the Attero taskforce would be applied to efforts to tackle other motorcycle gangs.

"The learning that this taskforce is gleaning from our efforts is going to be applied to tackling all the other outlaw motorcycle gangs and organised crime groups that exist," he said.


Police move to crack down on Rebels 'cancer'


Jared Lynch

State and federal law enforcement agencies have joined forces to crack down on the Rebels outlaw motorcycle gang, describing the group as a "cancer" in society.

Under the banner of the Serious Organised Crime Co-ordination Committee, law enforcement agencies believe they have already made a dent in the trade and membership of Australia's largest outlaw motorcycle gang.

More than 330 bikies have been arrested and 500 charges laid since the task force, code-named Attero, was launched on February 1 this year.

Committee chairman, NSW Police Acting Deputy Commissioner David Hudson, said it was the first national task force targeting bikies, which he said were a "threat to very fabric of our community" and a "cancer to our society".

Police have raided more than 300 premises associated with the Rebels, seizing more than 40 firearms and other weapons including knuckle dusters, stun guns, throwing stars, machetes, illegal knives and batons.

Mr Hudson said charges laid relate to drug manufacture and distribution, stalking, kidnapping, weapons trafficking and extortion.

He said outlaw motorcycle gangs had evolved considerably from burly bearded, long-haired men on motorbikes into sophisticated crime networks.

He said Middle Eastern crime syndicates had even infiltrated outlaw bikie gangs in NSW.

"This national task force will continue until the risk and the threat is diminished," he said.




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