by Mike Simpson
Detectives from the Queensland police’s Organised Crime Gangs Group investigating alleged extortion and armed robbery offences by members of an outlaw motorcycle gang have arrested and charged two men following a number of raids across the Moreton District, north of the Brisbane metropolitan area.
The group staged simultaneous raids throughout the suburbs of Caboolture, Scarborough and Burpengary and arrested two members of the Bandidos gang, including the President of the gang’s Brisbane chapter.
Victims were threatened with violence
Police say they will allege victims had property stolen from them and were threatened with violence if a sum of money wasn’t paid.
To date a number of victims have been identified, but investigators are confident there are others and have issued an appeal for them to come forward.
As a result, a 38-year-old Burpengary man and a 42-year-old Scarborough man were each charged with three counts of extortion, two counts of armed robbery and one count each of using a carriage to menace.
Standover and bully Queenslanders
Detective Inspector Tim Ledbetter said this behaviour clearly demonstrates the true nature of these gangs.
“They work together to standover and bully everyday Queenslanders, threatening victims with violence for money.
“They have used their gang association to further intimidate victims to both meet their demands, but also to discourage them from complaining to authority.”
Policing of outlaw bikie gangs criticised
In March this year, the Vice President of the police union, Detective Senior Constable Shane Prior, criticised the Queensland Police Service (QPS) and the State Government for leaving the taskforce responsible for investigating bikie gangs under-resourced.
Writing in an issue of the Queensland Police Union journal, he said 80% of investigators were on secondment and that repeated submissions to make the positions permanent had gone unheard.
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“Apart from being a gigantic hoax played on the Queensland public for political gain and organisational reputation, the model has real and dire consequences for all parties concerned,’’ Prior wrote.
“Districts already struggling to provide a modicum of effective police service to the community have over the years had to give up officers they can’t afford to lose to a task force that neither the government nor the QPS could be bothered to properly resource for seven years,’’ he wrote.