The West

Eastern States bikie gang moves west
Eastern States bikie gang moves west

Police say WA's cashed-up mining economy continues to act as a magnet for bikie gangs, with yet another Eastern States-based club establishing a foothold in Perth.

The gang crime squad yesterday raided what it believed was the Thornlie headquarters of the Lone Wolf bikie gang, well known in NSW and Queensland for its links to drugs and violence.

The gang's arrival in Perth brings the number of clubs with a presence in WA to 10 - three more than in 2009.

Det-Sen. Sgt Jeff Christmass said it was no secret the clubs viewed WA as a lucrative market for drug dealing and other criminal activities.

"It is disappointing because we obviously do not want these gangs coming into Western Australia . . . but unfortunately there are other influences outside our control," he said.

Tough new anti-association laws that were designed to stop the spread of bikie gangs in WA were passed by Parliament in October, but are yet to be used by police.

Det-Sen. Sgt Christmass denied the failure to use the powers had encouraged gangs to head west.

He said other States had been hit with long legal challenges when they introduced similar laws and WA was waiting on the outcome of those cases before proceeding.

It is understood the Lone Wolf gang has only a few members in its Perth chapter, but is expected to recruit quickly.

Police have not revealed whether anything was found during the raid on the Gunn Court rental property but officers were seen leaving with several big paper bags.

One neighbour said they had seen "a few nice Harleys" coming and going from the house at all hours in recent weeks, but the gang members had kept mostly to themselves.

In NSW, police are gearing up for a potential war between the gang and rival Rebels bikies after a recent stabbing incident in Tweed Heads.

Lone Wolf national sergeant-at-arms Joshua Battah, 33, was recently arrested for allegedly firing at a house in Toowoon Bay, 110km north of Sydney.

Det-Sen. Sgt Christmass said the gang crime squad would continue to monitor the chapter.

'It is disappointing because we obviously do not want these gangs coming into WA.'" *Det-Sen. Sgt Jeff Christmass *

The West Australian

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