Wednesday August 28 2013
– Another battle in the bloodiest bikie war in history could erupt in Victoria as the Hells Angels move against members of the notorious Canadian gang Rock Machine.
Police say Rock Machine members trying to establish a Victorian chapter this year have been bashed by Hells Angels intent on protecting their turf.
More than 150 people were murdered when the Hells Angels and Rock Machine clashed in Canada in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Detective Senior Sergeant Wayne Cheesman from the Echo Taskforce told a Firearms Appeals Committee hearing on Tuesday that the Rock Machine were aligned to the Bandidos.
He said Hells Angels members had clashed with bikies from Rock Machine.
The ambush of Bandidos sergeant-at-arms Toby Mitchell in March sparked what police have described as an all-out war between the club and the Hells Angels.
“It’s like a group of bullies in the school yard not allowing you to walk on a certain section of the oval,” Detective Senior Sergeant Cheesman said.
“If another club is to open, there is the perceived threat that the other club may take their business.
“In Victoria, the Hells Angels are on the front foot looking for them…this is a territorial turf war.”
Detective Senior Sergeant Cheesman said the business interests of bikie gangs generally included drug trafficking and extortion, and that the presence of another gang reduced the viability of these enterprises.
He was speaking during an appeal by a member of the Iron Horsemen, who had his firearms license cancelled by Chief Commissioner Ken Lay as he was considered to not be a “fit and proper” person.
Rock Machine may have as many as eight chapters in Australia, with the largest presence in Western Australia.
The gang states on its website that it has five Australian chapters: in Victoria, Western Australia, NSW, Tasmania and Queensland.
It was reported that members had attempted to start a chapter in Melbourne’s south-east last year, but were forced out by the Comanchero club.
In June, a homemade, fully automatic machinegun was seized from their clubhouse in Perth’s southern suburbs.
Last September, Rock Machine associate Stefan Pahia Schmidt was jailed for life with a minimum of 14 years for murdering Andy Marshall, whom he pushed out the window of a Cottesloe hotel after Mr Marshall spoke to two women who were with the bikie in 2011.
The gang has been involved in a feud with the Rebels bikie club in Perth after one of their members patched over, and a similar conflict has occurred in NSW.
Members of a Rock Machine chapter there have reported links to Serbian organised crime and may have patched over to the Comanchero in 2012, causing tension with existing Sydney Comanchero. One of those Rock Machine members to patch over, Faalau Pisu, was shot dead at a bikie wedding in south-west Sydney on November 5th.
The gang has also posted on its website photos and names of three “out in bad standing members” from Canadian and German chapters, who have left the club in acrimonious circumstances – Niño Bucci