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Outlaw bikies hit harder this year, had more guns, cash and drugs seized than previous year: cops

Outlaw bikies and organised criminals have been stripped of guns, drugs and illicit cash in police raids across the country.

The deadly haul included easily concealable loaded handguns and military-grade automatic weapons capable of firing several rounds a second.

Sixteen firearms – including a Chinese-copy of an AK-47 and a 12 gauge shotgun – were found at one Perth property.

Police also uncovered power gel explosives buried in a storage container during the Operation Ironside raid.

Officers suspect the stash was stockpiled for the Comanchero bikie gang.

An investigation in NSW netted 3D-printed submachine guns and other weapons.

In Queensland, three men with links to the Hells Angels were charged after police seized handguns and assault rifles.

And in Victoria, handguns and a silencer were among the weapons seized from the rural home of a Mongols member.

The AFP has seized more than $3.6 million of suspected bikie proceeds in the 2020-21 financial year, compared to $1.56 million the year before.

The number of criminal charges also soared by 35 per cent.

The amount of firearms seized almost doubled, with 99 taken from alleged gang members and associates, compared to just 51 last year.

An increase in the items seized by a national anti-gangs task force has left more criminals without guns, cash and drugs this year.
Camera IconThe AFP-led National Anti-Gangs Squad has seized more from alleged outlaw motorcycle gang members this financial year compared or last. Supplied Credit: Supplied

The AFP and their state and territory police partners intercepted and disrupted plots to shoot, bash or kidnap unsuspecting victims.

About 90 per cent of the threats to life identified were directly related to outlaw motorcycle gangs, according to Detective Superintendent Jason McArthur.

He said some offenders targeted people from rival gangs and even planned to kill their own members.

“The number of firearms seized by officers around the country last financial year and so far this year – almost two a week on average – highlights the access outlaw motorcycle gangs have to weapons that are used to follow through with their violent plans,” Mr McArthur said.

“Even when criminals are trying to target each other, they put innocent bystanders at risk.”

An increase in the items seized by a national anti-gangs task force has left more criminals without guns, cash and drugs this year.
Camera IconThis financial year more than $3.6 million of suspected bikie proceeds were seized in 2021-20, with just $1.56 million hauled from the previous financial year. Supplied Credit: Supplied

Mr McArthur said intercepted communications from the AN0M encrypted app exposed criminal organisations making massive profits, using violence and intimidation to support their business models.

He said 100 of the 311 people arrested under Operation Ironside were members or known associates of outlaw bikie groups.

He cited a recent study by the Australian Institute of Criminology that revealed bikies were increasingly recruiting violent criminals to their ranks.

The study found it was becoming more common for members to switch clubs to pursue their self-interests or bigger profits.

“The men involved in these gangs are not loyal to each other, they will hurt each other or rip each other off to make money and they certainly give no thought to the innocent people they put at risk through their violent crimes,” Mr McArthur said.

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