Canberra is now home to four outlaw motorcycle gangs including one of Europe’s most dangerous bikie gangs after ACT Policing revealed the notorious Satudarah gang had established a chapter in the nation’s capital.
The Satudarah join the Rebels, the Comancheros and the Nomads with chapters in the ACT, less than a year after the Finks tried and failed to establish an ACT chapter last year.
Police did not say for how long the Satudarah’s chapter had been established in the ACT. Their presence in the nation’s capital was brought to light after police arrested a 30-year-old male on 25 January, believed to be the president of the ACT chapter.
The gang is known for its extreme violence, drugs, extortion and weapons trafficking and has around 4,000 members worldwide and chapters in Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Morrocco, France, Indonesia and Thailand.
The Satudarah bikie gang, which was formed in the Netherlands in 1990, differs from most other outlaw motorcycle gangs in that it does not discriminate on the basis of race.
The arrival of Satudarah in the ACT could renew the turf war between the rival gangs, as evidenced by the string of drive-by shootings, arson attacks and home invasions last year.
Innocent bystanders have been lucky not to have been injured or killed, after attacks in Ngunnawal and Calwell along with a daylight fracas in the Tuggeranong Town Centre. In graphic CCTV footage released last year, dozens of bikie members brawled at Capital Men’s Club in Fyshwick while staff stood by helpless.
In the past 12 months, ACT Policing’s Taskforce Nemesis has laid 78 charges against 29 criminal gang members and executed 101 search warrants. The Taskforce has also seized 1,480 rounds of ammunition, 20 weapons, and two vehicles related to criminal gang activity.
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An ACT Policing spokesperson said despite the “changing environment” within the bikie gangs, police had not observed any notable increase in the number of gang members operating in the ACT.
“ACT Policing’s primary focus remains to disrupt criminal gang activity and maintaining public safety,” the spokesperson said. “The composition of gangs with a presence in the ACT changes as individual allegiances to various groups evolve.
“ACT Policing will continue to proactively target, prosecute and disrupt those involved in serious and organised crime in the ACT – regardless of their individual affiliations.”
Liberal spokesperson Jeremy Hanson said the lack of anti-consorting laws from the ACT Government was putting Canberra lives at risk and that the ACT has become a haven for bikie gangs.
“ACT Labor’s lax attitude to organised bikie crime has attracted an international criminal gang. The arrival of another bikie gang should come as no surprise to the Green-Labor government,” Mr Hanson said.
“The Canberra Liberals have repeatedly warned that without anti-consorting laws, the ACT will become a haven for criminal bikies. That’s exactly what’s happened. Without anti-consorting laws, more bikies will come to Canberra and the bikie war will continue across our suburbs.
“ACT Labor’s insistence on protecting outlaw bikie gangs is in contempt of the community and the government’s inaction is putting Canberra lives at risk.”