POLICE fear fledgling bikie gang the Rock Machine is paving the way for another violent outlaw motorcycle club - the Bandidos - to launch a foray into WA.
Police sources this week told The Sunday Times there was a real possibility the Bandidos could infiltrate the state, given their close ties to the Rock Machine. Detectives are intently monitoring interaction between the two gangs.
The revelation comes as tensions escalate between the Rock Machine and rival gang the Rebels, with WA Rebels leader Nick Martin being shot last week and tattoo shops firebombed, bikies assaulted and a massive stash of explosives seized in recent months.
On Thursday, Gang Crime detectives uncovered high-powered weapons during dawn raids on the homes of Rebels and Rock Machine members across Perth.
Some of the guns were found within arm's reach of bikies as police smashed through front doors, heightening concerns of retaliation attacks in the tit-for-tat motorcycle gang war.
"We are concerned about outlaw motorcycle gangs nationalising and internationalising ... linking with other clubs, and patching over, which is another process they engage in," Assistant Commissioner Nick Anticich said yesterday.
In 2000, Rock Machine members in Canada voted to "patch over" to the US-based Bandidos after a bloody seven-year turf war with arch rivals, the Hells Angels.
The feud led to the deaths of 162 people.
Police sources said the "patching over" appeared to be an attempt by the Rock Machine to gain protection from the Bandidos and an end to the war with the Hells Angels. But some Rock Machine members defected to other clubs, unhappy about the move.
While police say WA is the only state in Australia with known Rock Machine members, the Bandidos have a presence in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, but no membership in WA.
In 1984, six bikies were killed along with a 14-year-old bystander when Bandidos and Comancheros were involved in a shoot-out in south-west Sydney.
Det-Supt Charlie Carver, head of the Serious and Organised Crime Division, said criminal syndicates and interstate bikie gangs had long sought to capitalise on WA's rich economy.
Rock Machine, Finks and Comancheros chapters had set up in recent years.
"It's always a concern when they come into the state," Det-Supt Carver said.