Gangs are spending thousands on
THE leaking of
highly sensitive NSW and Victorian police
intelligence to outlaw bikie gangs is
compromising state and national organised
crime investigations and potentially
endangering the lives of informers.
can reveal that the NSW Police
Integrity Commission and the Office of
Police Integrity in Victoria are conducting
separate inquiries into suspicions that
officers are leaking the information. In
some cases, the leaks have seriously damaged
investigations. The revelations will
embarrass both police forces, which have
spent several years and considerable
resources to improve information security.
growing number of cross-state investigations
into organised crime, leaks of information
from police in one state can have
significant impacts on national inquiries.
gangs are not only recruiting law
enforcement officials, they are spending
tens of thousands of dollars on
sophisticated countersurveillance material.
investigation found one NSW chapter of a
national bikie club had obtained technology
to intercept police communications, and
access to secret codes to break encrypted
development, it is understood a bikie group
is trying to buy a $700,000 phone
interception device from the Middle East
that could allow it to tap nearby phones,
including those of police officers.
figures have also been given information
about the contents of one of the most secret
documents held by a police force - a joint
state and federal law enforcement
organised-crime target list.
The lists are
meant to be among the most highly protected
documents in Australian law enforcement. The
leaking of its contents would alert crime
figures they were being investigated.
The PIC probe
has been running since 2010 and is
investigating how sensitive police
intelligence reports and profiles have found
their way to members of outlaw clubs.
can reveal the PIC probe after agreeing to
its request to withhold publication for
The NSW files
have sometimes been leaked within days of
being created, allowing the targets of
investigations to pre-empt police activity.
twice, bikies or their associates have shown
law enforcement officials the reports that
have been leaked to them and claimed to have
paid several thousand dollars for each
In a separate
incident 18 months ago, NSW detectives who
raided the house of a suspected criminal
figure closely linked to the Rebels boss
Alex Vella found police files about the man.
to the outlaw groups Notorious and
Comanchero are also believed to have
received leaked information.
anti-corruption investigators in both states
have had some success in identifying those
leaking information, despite the difficulty
of investigating law enforcement officials.
In 2009 a
civilian intelligence analyst for the NSW
gang squad, Terry Gregoriou, was charged
over the leaking of intelligence reports by
the Australian and NSW crime commissions,
and internal police reports.
was convicted last December, was accused of
giving the reports to a friend with links to
the Comanchero motorcycle club.
In Victoria, a
man with close links to the Hells Angels,
Sunny Otene, was recently convicted for
lying to the OPI about his role in sharing
the contents of some of the files leaked
from the state surveillance squad in 2008.
authorities are also investigating claims
that the alleged organised crime boss
Mohammed Oueida was tipped off about an
impending police raid of up to five
properties linked to his syndicate. A senior
police officer said police discussed moving
the raids forward after learning of the
In April, when
Victorian detectives and federal police
eventually raided properties linked to Mr
Oueida, they were accompanied by
Mr Oueida, who
was later charged with serious drug
offences, has been associated with suspected
leaks from the Victoria Police since 2008,
when documents from the force's surveillance
unit were leaked to him and other suspected
About the same
time, Mr Oueida is suspected of receiving
information from a corrupt law enforcement
officer from which he could identify a
police camera hidden outside his factory.
In a statement
to the Herald, the OPI director,
Michael Strong, said: "Leakage of
confidential information is a serious
inhibitor to effective law enforcement and
continues to be a major concern to OPI."
BIKIE gangs have been leaked highly
sensitive police intelligence, explosive
It is believed
Victoria's Office of Police Integrity has
launched a probe into the allegations that
outlaw groups in Victoria and New South Wales
were able to view the secret files.
leaks included a bikie gang getting tipped off
about a major police raid, according to a
Deputy Commissioner Tim Cartwright confirmed
"that allegations have been made about a leak".
allegations were found to have substance it
would be concerning. However, at this stage,
they are allegations only and the existence of a
leak has not been established," he said in a
"We have no place
in this organisation for leaks.
information is a criminal offence, we
investigate these matters, we look to prosecute
criminally, and we look to sack.
"The OPI has been
notified of the allegations and may chose to
"If The Age
has information of relevance we would urge
them to make contact with the OPI."
It is understood
police in both states would be scrutinised in
The report also
claimed a bikie group was trying to buy a phone
interception device that could allow them to tap
the phones of police officers.
bikie incidents involving police:
July 7 -
Police raid the Comanchero outlaw motorcycle
club's headquarters in South Melbourne. The
Critical Incident Response Team is involved in
executing a warrant on the Thistlethwaite St
June 8 -
Explosives are used to blast into the Hells
Angels' Thomastown clubhouse in one of four
co-ordinated raids in the northern suburbs.
Drugs, a shotgun and ammunition are among
contraband seized in the raids, with a senior
member of the Nomads chapter of the notorious
bikie gang charged.
May 22 -
The Echo Taskforce is relaunched to solely focus
on outlaw bikie gangs. Police pledge: "We are
going to be policing them very hard ... we are
not going to take their lawlessness.''
May 5 -
A Nazi dagger, knuckledusters and a sword are
seized more raids linked to bikies. Three men
appear in court on firearms and weapons offences
after the raids at the Bros motorcycle club in
Yarraville and on homes in Melbourne's west.
2010 - The Herald Sun reveals
a new police taskforce will crack down on
warring, racially-based Melbourne crime gangs.
Then Chief Commissioner Simon Overland reveals
the creation of Taskforce Echo, in response to
extreme gang-related violence, including machete
and molotov cocktail attacks.