Their club names put fear into the hearts of law abiding citizens and criminals alike: Bandidos, Outlaws, Mongols, Hells Angels. When bikers wearing any of these club colors ride into your town you take notice. The past two decades law enforcement has taken notice too. Riding into town with biker colors is now like dangling a red cloth in front of a bull.
Today, Europol announced that Spanish Guardia Civil and National Police carried out 31 simultaneous house searches yesterday at 6.45 am and arrested 25 Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC) members or affiliates of the club.
The operation, based on a two and a half year investigation between Spain, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Austria, with the support of Europol and Eurojust, involved more than 200 law enforcement officers. It focused on suspected criminals on the Spanish island of Mallorca, where Hells Angels recently opened a new charter with the support and protection of Hells Angels in Germany and Luxembourg.
One of the Hells Angels that was apprehended is Frank Hanebuth (49), president of the chapter in Hannover, Germany. German police consider him to be one of the country's most dangerous men. Hanebuth was found to be living in a villa in Lloret de Vistalegre on the island.
“Those arrested today by Spanish SWAT team members are suspected of being involved in several crimes including drug trafficking, trafficking in human beings, extortion, money laundering and corruption,” a press release states. “The Spanish prosecution service in charge of the operation suspects Hells Angels of being a criminal organization.”
When Gangsters Inc. contacted Europol for more information, we were told Spanish authorities would publish more details later today. The spokesperson added, “I can tell you that among the 25 people arrested were persons of Bulgarian, German, Moroccan, Spanish, and Turkish nationality.”
During the house searches conducted in Mallorca, several cars and motorcycles were seized, as well as sums of money in cash and firearms. Investigators also seized computers, laptops, mobile phones and electronic devices.
Describing the threat these biker groups pose, a Europol press release stated, “The main threat to public safety associated with Hells Angels and other Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs stems from their propensity to use extreme forms of violence. This includes the use of arms, explosive devices such as grenades, and the indiscriminate nature with which this violence is often used in open conflicts between rival groups. In general, the use of intimidation and violence is intrinsic to the OMCG subculture and serves to exert control over group members and others such as victims of extortion. In displaying their ‘colors’ and identifying symbols, members of these groups exploit the reputation for violence associated with their particular OMCG to affirm their individual roles in local criminal markets.”
Like dangling a red cloth in front of a raging bull. Especially when you ride your club colors into a Spanish town.
For more news about outlaw bikers click here.
Copyright © www.gangstersinc.nl