Two Hoppers Crossing men and a Tarneit man are among seven people who have been arrested across Melbourne today in connection with an ongoing investigation involving the Rebels outlaw motorcycle gang.
Taskforce Echo police, along with the National Anti-Gangs squad, executed eight warrants at residential properties in Brookfield, Kurunjang, Aintree, Hoppers Crossing, Tarneit, Essendon and Sunshine from 5.30am on Tuesday, April 9.
A 28-year-old Aintree man, a 28-year-old and 21-year-old from Hoppers Crossing, a 29-year-old Tarneit man, a 26-year-old Essendon man, and a 28-year-old Brookfield man have each been charged with a range of offences including blackmail, extortion, aggravated carjacking (firearm used), theft of a motor vehicle, false imprisonment, making threats to kill, obtaining property by deception, committing an indictable offence on bail, prohibited person in possession of a firearm and possessing prohibited weapons.
A 15-year-old Kurunjang boy was also arrested and charged with offences including extortion, making threats to kill, aggravated carjacking and blackmail.
A number of items were seized during the raids including a shotgun, ammunition, three motorcycles believed to be stolen, prohibited weapons and cannabis.
The arrests form part of a wider investigation into the activities of the motorcycle gang across Victoria. Detective Superintendent Peter Brigham said the activities of Rebels and other gang members remain an ongoing focus of Victoria Police.
“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.”
The six men will all face the Magistrates Court today. The teenager will face the Children’s Court at a later date.