Bikies War


Story Details

They're a nationwide menace, growing in numbers, and capacity to inflict violence. As most of us sat down to dinner last night, two Bandidos were shot in Victoria -- now one is dead.

Police are under pressure to head off revenge attacks. "We don't want a tit for tat game", said crime department chief Paul Hollowood.

That's what police dread and so Det. Supt. Hollowood has formed a specialist taskforce overnight. "We're taking it very seriously", he added.

But Arthur Vino, who has ridden and written about bikies, fears there's more bloodshed to come. "About 7 more could be killed", Arthur said.

There's a tactical explanation to the violence -- a nationwide bikie turf war to cull twenty hard core clubs down to eight. With millions of dollars at stake in the drug trade and other illegal activities, things are tense.

The United States is getting tough with raids and 60 arrests. "Four agents went undercover as prospective members of Mongols, there were threatened on a number of occasions, their lives were in danger", Police said.

Reading death notices littered across the Bandido's website today, it's clear there's a lot of hatred and it stretches around the globe.

Looking at a map of Australia, each state has its own contingent of bikie gang -- sixty nationwide. In terms of clubhouses or chapters there are about 196.

Their names and patches are a roll call of terror -- The Outlaws, The Gypsy Jokers, Hells Angels, Immortals and Coffin Cheaters. The most prominent, The Hells Angels are feuding with the Finx and it's exploding in public. Then The Rebels are taking on The Outlaws. The Rebels are rapidly spilling down the east coast of Australia and the Bandido's are trying to take them on.

Arthur Vino believes gangland heavies are pulling the strings from the inside.

John Watson has watched the clubs mushroom, often going head-to-head with them as a former cop in Western Australia. "I've seen shootings at nightclubs -- three shot in stomach -- I've seen police officers assaulted and put in hospital because they were outnumbered", he said.

He knows they hunt in packs, are paranoid about police and there's the code of silence. "Their biggest fear is someone rolling over and turning evidence against them. They are paramilitary, they have a brotherhood that's very tight", he added.

South Australia's Director of Public Prosecutions, Stephen Pallaras, has been outspoken and his state is drawing on anti-terrorism laws to declare bikie gangs illegal organisations.

But with almost 200 clubs littering the nation, police plan raids to control the terror -- before it's too late.