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March 6, 2011
Staying out of Sydney ... Mongol Brotherhood president Peter Emerton at Mooney Mooney. Photo: Simon Alekna
THE Mongol Brotherhood has descended on the NSW central coast but the notorious US outlaw motorcycle club has no plans to ''step on anyone's toes'' by expanding to Sydney, its national president says.
The club's Australian president, Peter ''Chop'' Emerton, told The Sun-Herald the idea that the club was establishing a Sydney chapter was ''complete and total bullshit'' which police had promoted to destabilise relations with other clubs.
Officers from Strikeforce Raptor and the tactical response group had raided his property recently and ''found nothing because there was nothing to find'', Mr Emerton said.
''We are not trying to establish drug turf or to seek conflict with other clubs,'' he said. ''That's not what our club is about.''
Mr Emerton said the Mongols had kept their central coast presence secret for about two years until posting photographs of members on Facebook last year. The club now numbered more than two dozen, contrary to reports of only six members, he said.
''But we are very happy to remain on the central coast. We have deliberately stayed out of Sydney. We don't need to step on anyone's toes unless someone steps on ours first.''
Bikie insiders are concerned that if the Mongols came to Sydney it could spark deadly tension. Police fear the recent defection of more than 50 Bandidos to the Hells Angels, as revealed by The Sun-Herald last week, has created the potential for violence between the clubs.
''The Mongols should know that going to Sydney would be a suicidal move,'' one insider said. ''There's too much tension between existing clubs. There's just no room for another club, especially one that has history with other major clubs in the US.''
The Mongols, based in southern California, have been considered among the most notorious of the ''1 per cent'' bikie clubs - the ones that give the 99 per cent a bad name. They have 1500 members in chapters in the US, Germany, Mexico, Italy and now Australia.
In 2008 a US judge granted an injunction banning club members, family and associates using the club colours, which feature a Mongol warrior wearing sunglasses. This followed Operation Black Rain, in which officers from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives infiltrated the club, resulting in the prosecution of senior members for racketeering. Last year the Mongols won back the right to wear their colours after a long legal battle.
Mr Emerton said after Black Rain the club had changed direction, voting out all the ''part-time gangsters and drug dealers'' in an attempt to renew the club's values. ''Believe it or not, our club is drug-free. If you are caught selling or using drugs you are kicked out, no questions asked.''
Members are expected to have jobs or be seeking employment under new club rules. Mr Emerton runs a custom motorcycle business and works in the mining industry as a training assessor. He conceded he had a juvenile criminal record and another member had a conviction for petty assault.
His connection with the Mongols had followed meeting US members in the motorcycle business. He had been asked to join other outlaw clubs in the past but had declined.
''It wasn't for me, but once I got to know the Mongols I knew this was where I belonged. It's a religion for the members. We're going in a different direction to other '1 per cent' clubs but we don't judge what they do, either.''