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Bikies arrested for 'significant' tax fraud

Saffron Howden, Dylan Welch

THE Hells Angels bikie gang is involved in a sophisticated tax fraud racket which has fleeced millions of dollars from taxpayers, police allege.

Early yesterday morning, a 15-month police investigation involving more than 200 officers culminated in the arrest of 10 men and one woman, including four alleged members of the bikie gang and three accountants.

One, Mostafa ''Samir'' Jouayde, 30, was granted bail less than a fortnight ago to attend his own wedding. He has been president of the Hells Angels Parramatta chapter for several years and earlier this year oversaw the chapter's move to the Hells Angels from the Bandidos.


Another, Mahmoud ''Dibo'' Dib, 29, from Auburn, is a senior member of the same chapter. His house was peppered with bullets in 2009 in the middle of an outbreak of hostilities between the Bandidos and the Ibrahim family-associated street gang, Notorious.

Investigators alleged yesterday about 50 people were involved with the tax fraud scam in which new businesses were registered, business activity statements falsified, and millions of dollars in GST refunds collected. The businesses were then closed down.

The NSW Police gangs squad commander, Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis, said the amount of money involved in the scams overall was about $5.5 million.

''What it involved was the registering of new businesses, along with the established ones, where falsified business activity statements were lodged with the Australian Tax Office on a quarterly basis and, from those false business activity statements, we will be alleging that these individuals received significant GST refunds,'' he said.

A number of those arrested were also participating in drug and firearm supply and extortion, he said.

Superintendent Katsogiannis said the alleged white collar crimes uncovered during the investigation heralded a new era for bikie gangs.

''These gangs … are using professional advisers or facilitators, like accountants and lawyers, to assist them with their money laundering and financial activities,'' he said.

Officers, including those from the public order and riot squad, the dog unit, and the bomb disposal unit, seized 11 firearms, a silencer, steroids, cash, computers and financial documents during raids across western and south-western Sydney yesterday.

''Today's arrests will have a substantial impact on the illegal activities of a major chapter of the Hells Angels outlaw motorcycle gang,'' Superintendent Katsogiannis said.

The Parramatta chapter joined the Hells Angels this year. Mr Jouayde and Mr Dib reached an agreement with the Hells Angels boss, Felix Lyle, to ''patch over'' from rival club the Bandidos.

The defection came in the middle of a series of ''patch overs'' to the Hells Angels, which has risen significantly as a force in Sydney.

The Premier, Barry O'Farrell, called on the federal government yesterday to introduce national laws to target bikie outlaws following reports in yesterday's Herald that police from across the country wanted uniform laws.

Mr O'Farrell said he would write to the Prime Minister backing the police calls for national legislation.

''States have attempted to impose laws to crack down on these criminals [but] those laws have been struck down,'' he said.

''We have to ensure we have effective laws so that federal and state governments can deal with outlaw motorcycle gangs who too often are involved in drug crime in cities like [Sydney], in regions across NSW.

''We want to stamp them out. We want to see an end to them. I think the best way to do that is to back police and have federal, national legislation.''

with Kate McClymont and AAP

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