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Armed police stamp out illegal gang bar



Armed police arrested more than 50 people in a raid on an illegal gang bar in Nelson last night.

Teams of officers and armed offenders squad members raided the Red Devils gang house on Natalie St shortly before midnight with a warrant issued under the Sale of Liquor Act, Nelson area commander Inspector Brian McGurk said.

They seized a large amount of alcohol, a cash till, two fridges, five laptop computers, suspected illegal drugs, documents, and more than $7000 cash.

Five people were arrested and charged with allowing an unlicensed premise to be used for the sale of liquor.

Another 45 people are likely to face charges of being found on an unlicensed premise kept as a place of resort for the consumption of liquor.

One woman was charged with obstructing police, while another two people were charged with possession of methamphetamine.

Mr McGurk told NZPA the gang property, an old house at the end of a cul-de-sac in a commercial area, was surrounded by high wooden fences on all sides.

The kitchen area had been set up as a bar with a cash till, fridges full of alcohol and glassware.

The raid was the first on the property, and followed a police investigation into activities at the address.

Mr McGurk said the Red Devils were regarded as a puppet gang of the Hells Angels. Members of the Hells Angels and the Headhunters were among those charged.

Police from Christchurch and armed offenders squad members assisted with the raid because of the large number of people at the gang address.

Mr McGurk said police were also aware that one of the gang members had recently been arrested for allegedly importing a restricted weapon.

All 53 people facing charges have been remanded on bail to appear in Nelson District Court on September 28.


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