|Dope, cash and guns seized in raids on Aussie biker gangs, 13 arrested
More than 700 Australian police swooped on the Hells Angels biker gang in a series of raids in Melbourne and its surrounds and arrested 13. They seized guns, ammunition, drugs and cash.
They stormed some 60 clubhouses and properties to clamp down on an escalating war between rival motorcycle outfits that has sparked shootings with high-powered weapons. The crackdown came after new anti-fortification laws came into effect on Sunday, which allow police to tear down barriers, cameras and booby traps at club facilities.
Acting deputy commissioner Steve Fontana said it was the largest targeted operation on a single motorcycle gang in Victoria state's history.
But he admitted that none of the “high-powered military-style weapons'' that police had been searching for had so far been found.
At one property, so much ammunition was recovered that a truck was needed to take it away.
Recent incidents involving biker gangs in Melbourne have included a tattoo parlor being sprayed with bullets, makeshift bombs thrown at a gym, and shots fired a Hells Angels clubhouse.
Biker gangs linked to organized crime are a growing problem across Australia, with a mass brawl on the Gold Coast last month prompting Queensland state police to vow to kick them out of the state.
As part of that pledge, new laws are being drafted in Queensland to ban motorcyclists riding in groups of three or more to stop them using numbers to intimidate.