The Courier-Mail

Outlaws ready to roll back to state

- NEIL DOORLEY

BIKIES are planning a comeback in Queensland, with some senior members making covert trips back to the state in preparatio­n for re-establishi­ng their criminal networks.

The Courier-Mail can reveal police intelligen­ce showing some gang members who fled Queensland after the Newman government’s anti-bikie crackdown, have made brief visits back to Queensland in recent months and are “readying themselves for a return”.

Senior police sources said the outlaw motorcycle gangs were laying in wait for the outcome of the Palaszczuk Government’s upcoming review of the VLAD laws.

“They are making covert visits,” a senior source said. “They are fleeting trips, but it is still concerning that they are coming back. They are not only eyeing off their former stronghold­s, but intelligen­ce suggests they are readying themselves for a return.

“Obviously, they are taking a very keen interest in what the outcome will be of the upcoming review into the bikie legislatio­n. Queensland’s tough laws have made it very uncomforta­ble for the gangs to conduct their organised crime operations, including running lucrative illicit drug rackets and extortion.”

Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath, who was tasked with setting up the review into the Vicious Lawless Associatio­n Disestabli­shment (VLAD) laws, has already stressed that Labor was opposed to mandatory sentencing and anti-associatio­n provisions in the legislatio­n.

The large number of Queensland bikies who joined the exodus south included two violent members of the Finks’ “Terror Team”, Shane Bowden and Greg Keating, who have embedded themselves within Melbourne’s Mongols chapter.

Bowden and Keating, who fled Queensland more than a year ago seeking “refuge” in Victoria, became Mongols after its near complete national patch-over of the Finks, a notorious gang on the Gold Coast with a history of standover tactics, extortion and assaults.

Bowden, 42, has an extensive criminal history including seven years behind bars, while Keating, 44, is known for “disciplini­ng” members.

While Queensland’s antibikie Taskforce Maxima refused to comment on the claims, new figures reveal the continued success of their crackdown on gangs throughout the state.

Since October 2013, 2090 people have been arrested on 5981 charges, with more than half relating to drug offences.

The blitz has also resulted in about 30 per cent of the state’s gang members “handing in their colours”, with the 2013 total of 1153 cut by 388 to 765.

Forty-six Queensland clubhouses remain off limits after being declared no-go zones, with 19 completely abandoned by the gangs.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia