These are a few of the businesses that members of outlaw motorcycle clubs increasingly are operating to keep a low profile, launder money and expand their influence, Ontario’s police chiefs warn.
Bikers are “comfortable” dropping their patches – the three-piece vests that signify their membership in an outlaw motorcycle club – to run businesses that allow them to launder money while expanding their influence in business sectors and civil society, according to an Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) report on organized crime.
“As the report indicates, the threat of violence associated with motorcycle gangs would be obviously a very big concern to the public and the public’s perception,” said OPP Supt. Karen Gonneau, who chairs the association’s intelligence and organized crime committee.
“This way if they involve themselves . . . with a legitimate business, the public would be not reluctant to necessarily utilize that business. That keeps the avenue open for money laundering through a regular business model, so they can hide in plain sight.”
Bikers are most commonly involved in the towing industry, clothing retail, tattoo parlours, construction and demolition, and entertainment venues including strip clubs, Gonneau said.