OUTLAW motorcycle clubs are looking for footholds in key party precincts of Brisbane.
The Courier-Mail revealed last week that a Surfers Paradise nightclub had been a target for alleged bikie money laundering amid growing business links between powerful Gold Coast bikies and others interstate and overseas.
But outlaw clubs are also targeting Brisbane, where they have tried to open clubhouses and tattoo parlours in West End and Fortitude Valley.
A nascent chapter of Bandidos whose members do not even ride motorcycles is seeking a Valley clubhouse, according to police sources.
The development has echoes of the "Notorious" gang in Sydney connected to organised crime figures John Ibrahim and the Sarkis brothers.
That group styled itself as a motorcycle club but members - so-called "Nike Bikies" - failed to win recognition from outlaw clubs because they were not sufficiently interested in bikes.
Fortitude Valley - despite its historical links to organised crime - was an "untapped area" for outlaw motorcycle clubs, the police source said.
The Hells Angels tried last year to find a lease on a new clubhouse in West End.
Hells Angels Brisbane president Mark Nelms declined to comment. "It wouldn't matter if you were the Queen of England, we don't comment to anybody," he said.
The Bandidos' existing footprint in the Valley includes Valley Ink, a Brunswick St tattoo parlour opened by Gold Coast chapter president Sava Cvetkovic.
An underworld source said that a senior member of Highway 61, a club with New Zealand roots, also had sought to open a parlour on West End's Boundary Street.
Last week The Courier-Mail revealed that a multimillion-dollar Surfers Paradise nightclub deal had been thwarted after police warned the landlord that it was a front for bikies laundering cash.
The bid was bankrolled by a Sydney financier with business and family links to a national franchise chain.
The last known attempt at bikie infiltration of Gold Coast nightclubs was when Global Group Security looked at providing bouncers for several clubs about seven years ago.