– Bikie gangs are flexing their muscle in regional Victoria, recruiting local criminals to bolster their ranks and infiltrate towns that may provide fresh markets.
But police are confident of stopping their spread, revealing that a fledgling Rebels chapter in Mildura may have been disbanded because of the blowtorch applied by officers.
Superintendent Craig Gillard said regional Victoria had long been a haven for bikie gangs, and there were troubling signs that their tentacles were spreading.
Superintendent Gillard would not elaborate on the regions police suspected were being targets by bikies, either to set up the town’s first chapter or to compete with existing gangs.
There are at least 27 regional gangs in Victoria, but some areas, such as Gippsland and Victoria’s north-East, have little bikie presence.
Superintendent Gillard said the most recent chapter set up in regional Victoria, the Rebels Mildura chapter, may have died because of several police operations.
At least four members have been arrested for drug and assault offences in the two years since the club opened.
Those members had allegedly been involved in blackmail and armed robberies. In one instance they bundled a man into their clubhouse at gunpoint as neighbours watched on.
Superintendent Gillard said the crackdown in Mildura showed that police had a firm handle on the activities of regional bikies.
He said bikies might try to legitimise their activities by buying local entertainment venues or transport companies. One regional bikie is believed to have a thriving manufacturing business that has never been linked to criminal activity.
He said that while some regional areas had prominent members, many bikies were targeting local criminals to join their gangs. “The attraction is many and varied, but clearly some people who live in those areas want to be part of the OMCG environment.”
Bandidos national president Jason Addison lives in Echuca, but Superintendent Gillard said there was no evidence clubs were using the regions to ensure high-ranking members were in a safer environment than Melbourne.
Bikies may increase their focus on regional Victoria given the conflict in Melbourne between the Hells Angels and Bandidos. The feud prompted police to start Operation Resound last month and warn the public that the gangs had declared war – Niño Bucci


About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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