Three alleged bikies have been charged with extorting money following a police sting in southeast Queensland.
Three bikies who police say were involved in an extortion ring have been arrested in simultaneous raids on Thursday morning.
Police say the Bandidos members who lived in Brisbane and Logan were threatening victims with violence unless they paid a $5000 “fine”.
The extortion racket allegedly started after a public brawl between two men over a woman.
It’s understood one of the men called in friends from the Bandidos and the fight escalated.
The bikies allegedly threatened violence to others involved in the fight unless each paid a $5000 “fine”.
A victim’s car windscreen was smashed with a baseball bat, police said in a statement.
Detectives say they know of four victims but believe there are others and have urged them to come forward.
A 26-year-old former president of the Bandidos’ Gold Coast chapter was among the bikies arrested, as well as two 22-year-old alleged gang members.
All were charged with committing extortion as vicious lawless associates, while both younger men were also charged with drug offences and wilful damage.
A 21-year-old man and a 36-year-old man were also arrested and charged with possessing drugs and utensils.
The five are expected to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Thursday.
Detective Inspector Brendan Smith said the operation demonstrated the use of standover tactics by criminal gangs.
“These offences were committed in public places and targeted everyday Queenslanders, threatening victims with violence for money,” he said.
“They have done this as a group, using their criminal gang association to further intimidate victims to both comply with their demands.”
Police expect to lay more charges.