THE once feared Finks outlaw bikie gang has
died the death of a thousand papercuts on the Gold Coast.
A $300 fine for running a red light might
not seem like much, but imagine being hit with 10 fines. Or 20. Or 50?
It adds up.
Every time the club puts a wheel out of
line, the police are there.
Run a red light, done. Crossed double
lines. Done. Rolled through a stop sign. Done.
Pretty soon you're unlicensed -- not good
for a bikie.
It is the death of a thousand fines.
Most revellers might not have noticed, but
the shadow that darkened the glitter strip is slowly being driven out as the
police war on the outlaw motorcycle gangs is slowly, but surely, being won.
It has been a long time coming.
It was only two years ago that things were
very different on the streets of Surfers Paradise -- the lucrative jewel in
the territory of notorious outlaw gang, the Finks.
The Finks ruled the streets and they wore
their colours with pride.
They travelled together in packs and were
an overt and menacing presence on the glitter strip.
It wasn't always that way.
Bikies have always been linked to drugs and
violence but club insiders say that in the past decade, the Finks have
Heavy recruiting brought new blood to the
club and the young Finks were not content to follow their low-profile
Perhaps the most high profile of the new
breed was Tama Lewis, the so-called `MySpace bikie'.
Lewis breached the club's strict codes of
privacy to boast about his life as an outlaw bikie on the social networking
site, claiming he 'earned' $250,000 a year as a stand-over man.
His slogan read: "Don't play games with the
ref, remember I make the rules."
And he was right.
The Finks were making the rules.
They were pictured in nightclubs, they
courted publicity, they were pictured giving the media the finger and
So attracted were they to the spotlight
that the younger members started to contact the media to ensure they would
be pictured as they defiantly turned themselves in to police.
So much for low profile.
Gold Coast's top cop Superintendent Jim
Keogh said the younger members had their own agenda.
"They were young and they could see that
there was money to be made and they wanted a part of it," he said. "The
violence erupted within the club between the older members and the younger
Supt Keogh said some of the younger members
did not share the love of Harley-Davidsons or high-speed motorcycles.
"They weren't in it for the bikes. Most of
them didn't even own a motorcycle. It wasn't about that anymore. These guys
are more interested in the commercial aspect of the club now," he said.
As the divide between old and new widened,
the wheels started to fall off the Fink juggernaut in March 2006, during the
very public `Ballroom Blitz' -- a wild melee between the Hells Angels and
the Finks at the Royal Pines Resort ballroom.
Shots were fired, the bikies used fists,
knives and furniture during the violent clash that left five people wounded
and more than 1800 people fearing for their lives.
The public were stunned and demanded police
Seven months later in September that year,
police finally responded by launching Taskforce Hydra.
The taskforce was formed to 'disrupt and
dismantle the gangs' and for the past four years, they have quietly been
achieving their goal.
The biggest hit has been to the gang's hip
Police monitor the gangs' poker runs
issuing hundreds of tickets.
At first the bikies maintained the rage --
defiantly riding through red lights and stop signs -- but not for long.
As the tickets mounted, bikies learned to
toe the line.
Police said the last Hells Angels run
through the Coast was 'incident free' and members were 'very well behaved'.
A nightclub owner said the Finks' presence
in Surfers had been on the slide since the infamous Ballroom Blitz
"There has been no bikie presence for a
long time. I suppose that's a good thing," he said.
"I hadn't even thought about it since the
Ballroom Blitz. I'm not sure what the reasons are or why but I think it's a
Police are pleased with the results.
"The bikies are lying very low these days,"
said Supt Keogh.
"In Surfers Paradise we are not seeing them
in their colours the way were were in the past.
"We have maintained a strong police
presence in Surfers Paradise and a number of raids have proven to be very
successful -- there are a number of Finks behind bars and that has certainly
Among them are Shane Bowden, who taunted
police while on the run in the wake of the Ballroom Blitz, the MySpace bikie
Tama Lewis and Nick Forbes -- arrested after a series of brutal and random
bashings in Broadbeach in January, 2008.
Supt Keogh said the arrest of Forbes was
His brutal rampage with two other Fink
associates left five people injured. Police arrested him as a tried to stomp
on the head of one victim.
It was not his arrest, but the fact the
assaults were captured on surveillance cameras that hit home.
The chilling footage steeled the public
against the outlaw menace and police were again seen to score a major
"The fact is, Surfers Paradise is covered
in CCTV," said Supt Keogh. "They've finally realised the precinct is being
monitored and whatever they do will be caught on camera."
Meanwhile, Taskforce Hydra has continued to
work quietly targeting the alleged criminal activities of the Finks.
Earlier this month, police nailed another
Fink scalp after busting a Gold Coast drug lab syndicate accused of cooking
up about $3 million worth of methamphetamine.
Dean 'Dino' Spizziri, Jason Hinton, Stephen
Creighton and Kevin O'Hara faced the Southport Magistrates Court on charges
which included producing and trafficking drugs.
Police allege last month's Beechmont raid
netted 3.6kg of pure methamphetamine, which once mixed, could have be turned
into about 15kg of street grade speed.
Mr Spizziri, 53, who has known links to the
outlaw Finks Motorcycle Club, has been in custody since May.
Police sources are delighted to have
brought the clubs in line.
"You never see them anymore. You don't see
them in their colours, they don't ride around menacing the public. They are
gone from the streets and that's a win," he said.
"Most of the Finks are behind bars -- you
have to be happy with that -- and when they're out we'll make sure they toe