The West

Bikie focus for new task force

A special task force charged with hitting outlaw motorcycle gangs and organised criminals across WA starts operations today.

The WA arm of the National Anti-Gangs Squad includes five Federal police officers and an analyst from the tax office. It will work with similar strike teams that have so far assisted in 94 State police operations, the arrests of 200 people and the laying of 525 charges.

That work has led to the seizure of 218 firearms, ammunition, explosives, drugs, 50 motor vehicles and more than $2 million in cash.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan said there were nine outlaw motorcycle gangs with 25 chapters across WA and it was clear organised crime activity was not borderless. The $10.2 million strike team would work with the WA Police gang squad in targeting bikie crime across the State.

"We have seen the violent nature of these groups all too often," Mr Keenan said.

"Whether it is extortion of family businesses such as what was uncovered recently in Northbridge by WA Police, public brawling at nightclubs or events such as the incident at the Kwinana Motorplex which saw a shooting, stabbings and a man lose three fingers, or the attempted assassinations of multiple gang leaders - this type of activity will not be tolerated."

The team will also focus on groups involved in forced labour, human trafficking, money laundering and drug importation.


The West Australian

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