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Police allege Bandidos in exortion racket

Thursday, 24 July 2014

A FIGHT over a woman has landed several alleged participants of the Bandidos outlaw motorcycle gang on extortion and wilful damage charges. Detectives from Taskforce Maxima staged simultaneous raids throughout Brisbane and Logan and arrested three participants of the Bandidos criminal gang, including the former President of the Gold Coast chapter. The operation, codenamed Mike Groundspeed, targeted Bandidos participants who were allegedly extorting money.

The extortion began when two men became involved in an altercation over a woman, police said. The altercation escalated with a number of other people becoming involved, including victims and offenders with an association with the Bandidos criminal motorcycle gang. Victims were then allegedly threatened with violence if a $5000 fine per person wasn't paid. During the extortion attempt, a victim's car windscreen was smashed with a baseball bat. To date police have identified four victims but investigators are confident there are others and ask for them to come forward.

During Thursday morning's raids three search warrants were executed, and as a result five persons have been arrested on 22 charges including 12 charges of extortion, wilful damage and drug charges. Three of these offenders have been charged as vicious lawless associates under the provisions of the Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Act 2013. These arrests include: A 26-year-old Carindale man has been arrested and charged with four counts extortion with circumstance of aggravation that he is a vicious lawless associate, with an additional circumstance that he is an officer bearer of the association and one charge of wilful damage. It is alleged he is the ex-President of Gold Coast Chapter and a participant of the Bandidos. A 22-year-old Shailer Park man has been arrested and charged with four counts of extortion with circumstance of aggravation that he is a vicious lawless associate, wilful damage and possession of dangerous drug and possession of a drug utensil. It is alleged he is a participant of the Bandidos. A 22-year-old Eight Mile Plains man has been arrested and charged with four counts of extortion with circumstance of aggravation that he is a vicious lawless associate, wilful damage and possession of dangerous drug and possession of a drug utensil. It is alleged he is a participant of the Bandidos. A 21-year-old Shailer Park man has been arrested and charged with possession of dangerous drug and possession of a drug utensil. A 36-year-old Shailer Park man has been arrested and charged with possession of dangerous drug and possession of a drug utensil. Detective Inspector Brendan Smith of Taskforce Maxima said that this operation clearly reveals the true nature of these gangs. "They work together to standover and bully people as a group. "The actions of these gang members are why the crackdown on criminal gangs is necessary. These offences were committed in public places and targeted everyday Queenslanders, threatening victims with violence for money. "They have done this as group, using their criminal gang association to further intimidate victims to both comply with their demands, but also to discourage them from complaining to authority. "Today's results show how the new laws and the on going enforcement action are changing things for the better. "People now have the confidence to come forward, they making complaints, they are providing information, and I suspect we will see a lot more of it," he said. The five men were expected to face the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Thursday morning. Investigations are on going and additional charges are expected.

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A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

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