The police gang squad charged five people with a string of offences yesterday after a series of raids in Perth as part of a national task force targeting the Rebels outlaw motorcycle gang.
Officers executed eight search warrants at properties throughout the metropolitan area and allegedly seized a significant quantity of firearms and other weapons, tools, prohibited drugs and cash.
The raids were part of a national day of action targeting the bikie gang under the Attero Task Force, an action aimed at disrupting, disabling, dismantling and investigating the criminal activity of the Rebels in Australia.
The club is the largest outlaw motorcycle gang in the country, with chapters in every state and territory and overseas.
Acting Detective Superintendent Greg Maslin said search warrants had been executed almost fortnightly since the operation began in WA in April.
He said some members of the gang were using legitimate businesses interests in tattoo parlours, transport, private security and entertainment to facilitate organised crime and intermingle the proceeds from this crime.
Rebels members have previously been involved in illicit drug offences, including importation, manufacture and distribution, as well as money laundering, extortion and violence.
Yesterday’s raids resulted in charges being laid against five people.
A 23-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman, both from Waikiki, were charged with drug and property offences including four counts of unlawful possession, receiving, possession of a prohibited drug with intent to sell or supply (cannabis) and two counts of possession of a prohibited drug with intent to sell or supply (amphetamine).
A 31-year-old Orelia man was charged with possession of a prohibited drug (steroids).
A 26-year-old Yangebup man was charged with three counts of possession of a prohibited drug, possession of a smoking implement, possession of a cannabis grinder and three counts of possession of a controlled weapon.
A 50-year-old Willetton man was charged with possession of cannabis and possession of a smoking implement.
Nationally, more than 330 members have been arrested by the taskforce since its formation in February.
Acting Det. Superintendent Maslin said there were approximately 110 Rebels members active in WA and the group was “recruiting heavily”.
He said while eight rifles and shotguns had been seized on Monday, of particular concern was a small pistol which could be easily concealed.
The Rebels has been targeted because it is the largest outlaw motorcycle gang in Australia, operating in every state and territory, and is expanding overseas.
Paul Jevtovic from the Australian Crime Commission warned the Rebels had penetrated legitimate industries, which they used to commit crimes.
“We’re about breaking the business model of organised crime,” Mr Jevtovic said of the taskforce, which is a historic collaboration between 14 national agencies.
“It is about hardening the environment so they can’t continue to generate profits.”
Since February, law enforcement agents have laid more than 500 charges relating to violence, stalking, kidnapping, assault, drug offences and weapons offences.
Mr Jevtovic said lessons learnt by the Attero taskforce would be applied to efforts to tackle other motorcycle gangs.
“The learning that this taskforce is gleaning from our efforts is going to be applied to tackling all the other outlaw motorcycle gangs and organised crime groups that exist,” he said.
- with AAP