Police have arrested seven males and executed a number of search warrants in Melbourne’s north-west as part of a number of ongoing investigations involving the Rebels Outlaw Motorcycle Gang (OMCG).
Taskforce Echo police, along with the National Anti-Gangs squad today executed eight warrants from 5.30am at residential properties in Brookfield, Kurunjang, Aintree, Hoppers Crossing, Tarneit, Essendon and Sunshine.
As a result, six men were arrested, including:
• a 28-year-old Brookfield man;
• a 28-year-old Hoppers Crossing man;
• a 28-year-old Aintree man;
• a 29-year-old Tarneit man;
• a 26-year-old Essendon man; and
• a 21-year-old Hoppers Crossing man.
They have each been charged with a range of offences including blackmail, extortion, aggravated carjacking (firearm used), theft of motor vehicle, false imprisonment, make threats to kill, obtain property by deception, commit indictable offence on bail, prohibited person in possession of a firearm and possess prohibited weapons.
All are expected to appear at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court today (9 April).
A number of items were seized during today’s raids including a shotgun, ammunition, three motorcycles believed to be stolen, prohibited weapons and cannabis.
Pic to come
A 15-year-old Kurunjang boy was also arrested and charged with offences including extortion, make threats to kill, aggravated carjacking (firearm used) and blackmail.
He will appear at a children’s court.
A 70-year-old Sunshine West male received a caution for possessing a drug of dependence.
Today’s arrests form part of a wider investigation into the activities of the Rebels OMCG across Victoria.
The operation has led to a number of significant arrests so far this year in relation to several alleged incidents, including an arson incident in Harkness on 14 February and a shooting in Melton on 16 February.
Those arrested have included:
• 29 January – a 37-year-old Melton South man, charged with firearms offences – including possession of a traffickable quantity of unregistered firearms – possess ammunition without licence and traffick/possess methyl amphetamine
• 17 February – a 35-year-old Weir Views man, charged with possession of a traffickable quantity of firearms, traffick large commercial quantity of methyl amphetamine, criminal damage by fire (arson) and discharge a firearm at premises
• 17 February – a 29-year-old Weir Views woman, charged with possession of a traffickable quantity of unregistered firearms and other firearms offences, traffick large commercial quantity of methyl amphetamine, discharge a firearm at premises, reckless conduct endangering life and attempt to obtain property by deception.
• 17 February – a 23-year-old Melton woman, charged with traffick large commercial quantity of methyl amphetamine, criminal damage by fire (arson) and possess drug of dependence.
• 27 February – a 45-year-old Craigieburn man, charged with discharge a firearm at premises, prohibited person possess imitation firearm, possess ammunition without a licence, commit indictable offence while on bail and burglary.
• 27 February – a 29-year-old Melton West man, charged with criminal damage by fire (arson), discharge a firearm at premises, reckless conduct endangering life and prohibited person use a firearm.
• 27 February – a 35-year-old Melton woman, charged with traffick large commercial quantity of methyl amphetamine, criminal damage by fire (arson) and cultivate cannabis.
• 26 March – a 21-year-old Lalor man, charged with traffick commercial quantity of methyl amphetamine, possess ecstasy, possess drug of dependence, traffick cocaine, negligently deal with proceeds of crime, possess prohibited weapon and other firearms offences.
• 27 March – 40-year-old Frankston man, charged with possession of a traffickable quantity of firearms and other firearms offences, possess controlled weapon and possess drug of dependence.
It is anticipated that those already arrested and charged prior to today’s operation will receive a number of further charges.
A number of items have been seized as part of the operation, including 11 firearms.
The firearms include an assault rifle, handguns and shotguns, along with ammunition.
Detective Superintendent Peter Brigham said the activities of Rebels and other OMCG remain an ongoing focus of Victoria Police to ensure those involved in criminal behaviour are held accountable.
“This is a group we know have traditionally been involved in violent crimes such as shootings, as well as serious assaults, arson, drug trafficking and extortion,” he said.
“Their behaviour is often targeted at other entities or rival groups, however has the potential to incur enormous harm on the community and put the public at significant risk.
“Today’s arrests are a significant result not just for police but for the broader Victorian community.
“Those who use violence or intimidation to commit crimes and bring harm to the community need to understand that they will find themselves the subject of intense focus by Victoria Police.”
Police also continue to monitor links to a range of businesses to ensure any profit generated is not used to fund crime.
Anyone with information about OMCG activity is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au