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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

AUSTRAILIA - Gang rivalry boils over as outlaw clubs take on new members and defend their turf

Anthony Dowsley, Mark Dunn

Australia - The Herald Sun can reveal there have been rising ructions between clubs over dozens of defections and numerous assaults across the state in the past three years. Rebels Motorcycle Club is expanding faster than any of its rivals, but other so-called 1 per cent gangs are also recruiting to add muscle to their ranks. Police have confirmed many new members of powerful new Melbourne gangs - namely the Comancheros - are from Middle Eastern and Islander descent. Many new "patched" bikies are being recruited from kickboxing backgrounds. Gymnasiums have also been linked to prominent Melbourne clubs. Melbourne's oldest club, the Hells Angels, continues to be dominated by Anglo-Saxon members, though it has links to a member of the Chaouk family. Herald Sun Digital Pass Foreign clubs attempting to set up in Victoria are also being thwarted. Earlier this year, notorious bikie club Rock Machine, which has a presence in Perth, tried to start a chapter in Melbourne's southeast but members were stripped of their colours. In another incident earlier this year, Hells Angels members were bashed by rivals at a Rebels gathering in Mildura. In August last year, the Herald Sun revealed a United Motorcycle Council was holding meetings to combat new proposed anti-bikie laws. At least one major club has pulled out of the council, which a source said had become dysfunctional. Victoria's UMC has not released anything publicly. There have been a series of raids and arrests in the past two months with police seizing firearms, drugs and cash from Hells Angels members.