Outlaw bikie gangs in Cairns warned
ONE of Cairns' chief detectives has put outlaw bikie gangs on notice after three men were arrested over a $120,000 cigarette heist.
Far North acting Insp Ed Kinbacher said the men’s arrests were just the tip of the iceberg in a sting that was likely to net up to 20 members of Cairns’ chapter of the Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Club.
And he warned other members of the club, or similar outlawed clubs, that police would be watching them.
"This is merely one cell which is operating under one particular member," he said.
"It doesn’t move much beyond that particular cell, but obviously, the broader group remains a particular focus of police here in north Queensland and they can expect ongoing attention, as can the other outlawed motorcycle gangs which are operating here in North Queensland or have ambitions to do so."
He said at least 10 people from the group had already been charged and expected that number to double by the time the investigation finished.
"Also, the investigation has revealed evidence of drug-related activity within this particular cell and the investigation and more arrests will follow over time," he said.
A 37-year-old Bungalow man and a 35-year-old Edmonton man were arrested and charged yesterday in relation to the alleged theft of $120,000 worth of cigarettes from a Woree service depot in two separate thefts between February and May in 2010.
A third man, 29-year-old Bobby Bright from Bentley Park, was charged over the incident earlier this month and will appear in court again on August 6.
Acting Insp Kinbacher confirmed the Bungalow man charged yesterday was a "patch member" of the Bandidos and had been charged with offences other than the cigarette theft.
He will appear in court this morning.
The Edmonton man was arrested yesterday afternoon with officers allegedly finding 700g of cannabis in his possession and he will appear in court on August 13.
"Certainly there are a range of offences that have been detected over the course of the investigation – they encompass the theft, fraud, stealing and possibly drug-related charges and also some matters of a sexual nature," he said.
He said the operation, codenamed Kilo Entourage, also had seized about $30,000 in property including motorcycles, trucks, mag wheels and mining equipment.
It is believed the stolen cigarettes were distributed among the club and its associates between Cairns and Townsville.