Massive police action leaves Bandidos chapter demolished

SEVERAL senior members of the Bandidos criminal gang were arrested this morning on a number of charges, including extortion and serious assault, involving numerous victims.

Detectives from Taskforce Maxima staged simultaneous dawn raids throughout Brisbane, Gold Coast and Logan and arrested 9 patched members of the Bandidos criminal gang, including high ranking office bearers, taken into custody charged with extortion. Three other participants were also arrested and an additional chapter president has had an arrest warrant issued for him.

The operation, codenamed Lima Corona, targeted Bandidos West End & Centro Chapters whose members were allegedly extorting money and property.

In many cases they targeted innocent victims at gyms.

A number of these victims were seriously assaulted in the process including a victim who required facial reconstruction surgery for his injuries which included a broken nose, a fractured eye socket and chipped teeth.

In one instance offenders threatened a victim with a handgun and a baseball bat.

In another instance the offenders threatened the victim with violence and property damage to his vehicle and business premises. In this case it will be alleged the offenders were attempting to collect an outstanding business debt on behalf of a large building firm.

It will be alleged these offenders extorted jewelry to the value of $24,000 and $16,000 cash, in one case forcing a victim to set up a Direct Debit facility to make payments.

To date police have identified seven (7) victims but investigators are confident there are others and ask for them to come forward.

During this morning's raids 15 search warrants were executed, and as a result 14 people have been arrested on 65 charges including 37 charges of extortion. These arrests include:

A 28-year-old Fortitude Valley man has been arrested and charged with 2 x extortion. It is alleged he was the President of Centro Chapter of the Bandidos at the time of the offences.

A 27-year-old Fortitude Valley man has been arrested and charged with 2 x extortion. It is alleged he was the Sergeant-at-Arms of Centro Chapter of the Bandidos at the time of the offences.

A 23-year-old Upper Mount Gravatt man has been arrested and charged with three counts of extortion, assault, possession of property suspected as tainted ($10,000 cash), Possession of restricted item (Plate from bullet proof vest), and breach of bail. It is alleged he was the Sergeant-at-Arms of Gold Coast Chapter of the Bandidos at the time of the extortion offences.

A 26-year-old Shailer Park man has been arrested and charged with two extortion charges and assault. It is alleged he was a member of West End Chapter of the Bandidos at the time of the offences.

A 32-year-old Mount Gravatt East man has been was arrested and charged with five extortions, assault occasioning bodily harm in company and assault. It is alleged he was the President of West End Chapter of the Bandidos at the time of the offences.

A 31-year-old Highgate Hill man has been arrested and charged with two counts of extortion, assault occasioning bodily harm in company, possession of dangerous drugs, possession of restricted drug, possession of property used in the commission of a crime and possession of drug utensils. It is alleged he was a member of West End

Chapter of the Bandidos at the time of the extortion & assault offences.

A 28-year-old Gatton man has been arrested and charged with eight counts of extortion and assault occasioning bodily harm in company. It is alleged he was a nominee of West End Chapter of the Bandidos at the time of the offences.

A 26-year-old Upper Mount Gravatt man has been arrested and charged with extortion. It is alleged he was a member of West End Chapter of the Bandidos at the time of the offences

A 25-year-old Jamboree Heights man has been arrested and charged with extortion, assault, two counts of possession of dangerous drug and possession of drug utensils. It is alleged he was participant of the Bandidos at the time of the extortion offence.

A 36-year-old Bundall man has been arrested and charged with two extortions. It is alleged he was participant of the Bandidos at the time of the offences.

A 29-year old Mount Gravatt East man was issued with a notice to appear with one count of possession of a dangerous drug and one count a restricted item (extendable baton).

A 22-year old Mount Gravatt East woman was offered drug diversion re possession of a drug utensil.

A 24-year old Fortitude Valley man was arrested and charged three possessions of dangerous drug, possession of utensils and possession of a thing used in a crime.

In addition, an arrest warrant has been issued for a 26-year-old man for nine counts of extortion, threatening violence, stalking and assault occasioning bodily harm in company. It is alleged he was Sergeant-at-Arms of the Bandidos West End Chapter at the time of the offences.

Detective Superintendent Niland of Taskforce Maxima stated: "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 new laws are necessary. These offences were committed in public places and targeted everyday Queenslanders. The offenders threatened and assaulted victims for money.

"They have done this as group, using their criminal gang membership to further intimidate victims to both comply with their demands, but also to discourage them from complaining to authority."

"These 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.

"It is fitting that this has occurred in the week where we are seeing 'National day of action against bullying and violence' because that's what they are, criminal thugs and bullies".

The offenders will face the Brisbane Magistrates Court tomorrow.

Investigations are on going and additional charges are expected.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.



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