DOZENS of criminals linked to bikie gangs and organised
crime have been arrested by a new police taskforce
performing among the best in the nation.
can reveal the South Australian branch of the national
anti-gang squad helped charge 68 people with 92 offences in
the state at the end of 15 months of operation.
The first publication of
the results also shows the team comprising members from SA
Police, Australian Federal Police and the Australian
Taxation Office, have seized $385,000 and eight firearms.
The Crime Gangs taskforce
officer in charge, Detective Chief Inspector Scott
Fitzgerald, labelled the results “very pleasing” given South
Australia is the last of all states to have established such
a specialist team.
“This cooperative and
co-ordinated focus on tackling organised crime in South
Australia will continue to strive to significantly reduce
the overall impact of organised crime across Australia,”
said Det Ch Insp Fitzgerald, who is also the head of the
Serious and Organised Crime Branch.
An analysis by The
Advertiser shows the SA squad has been punching above
its weight for arrests and cash seized compared with other
Since the National
Anti-Gangs Squad was officially launched in 2014 with teams
in along the eastern seaboard, results to July 31 show it
has led to about 1000 arrests, 3000 charges laid as well as
more than 5500 guns and almost $8 million in cash seizures.
Queensland has the most
charges with 1637, while New South Wales and Western
Australia top the nation for the most cash seized at $3
million and $2 million respectively.
Victoria has the most
firearms seized. Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the
national squad was leading the fight against the scourge of
Adelaide-based Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs.
He said: “Our resolve to
work with state and territory police to safeguard
Australians has ever been stronger. There are an estimated
40 Outlaw Motorcycle Gang clubs in Australia, comprised of
about 435 chapters.
“These are not
misunderstood or a community-minded brotherhood — they are
organised criminal gangs that rely heavily on the illegal
drug market to make a profit, and have no regard for the
pain and damage they leave in their wake.
“We are not backing off
targeting these groups; this is why last year we committed
an additional $39 million in funding to expand and extend
NAGS operations into 2019 to keep these criminal gangs
firmly on the back foot.”
Last year the Federal
Government announced funding for the establishment of a
Strike Team in Adelaide.
A NAGS liaison officer has
been working within the local gangs team since January 2014.
Police Seize Drugs,
Guns in Bikie Search. Credit — NSW Police Force via