The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission have been quizzing bikie associates and could do the same with their WAGs in a bid to dig up dirt on their partners’ criminal activities.
The crime body revealed they have secretly interrogated people connected to outlaw motorcycle gangs, with business associates, family members and accountants in the firing line.
If those being interviewed do not cooperate they could be imprisoned until they do, in a heavy-handed response ACIC boss Mike Phelan said he does not apologise for.
The hush-hush coercive interviews have been paramount in uncovering details about bikie gangs and their organisational weaknesses
Some suspects with connections to bikie gangs have spent months or years in jail due to their silence
‘There’s nothing like putting pressure on an individual by questioning, legitimately questioning, their family and others around them, who may be living off the illicit profits that are being gained from criminal activity,’ the ACIC chief executive told News Corp.
Some defiant suspects with connections to underworld figures and dealings have spent months or years in jail due to their silence.
One South Australian bikie who rebuffed ACIC’s enquiries was charged with contempt of court and jailed indefinitely, or until he answered questions, in 2018.
Another individual got jail time last year after refusing to cooperate, while being investigated for crimes relating to methylamphetamine production in regional NSW.
ACIC has also intercepted 28million text messages on a criminal messaging app, ANOM, which have included details of murder plots and big drug deals – leading to almost 1,000 arrests.
The secret coercive interviews have been paramount in uncovering details about bikie gangs and their organisational weaknesses.
‘If we want to know, for example, what someone’s finances are, or we want to know how their business structures work, then sometimes the most appropriate people to bring in are their family and their close friends and their business associates; some of those people are not involved in any criminal activity at all,’ Mr Phelan said.
Australians are spending a record $10billion a year on illicit drugs, with ACIC claiming a cartel involving motorcycle gangs as responsible for smuggling up to $1.5billion in drugs through Australian borders every year.
The news comes as bikie wars in the nation have been escalating, with Comanchero bikie boss Tarek Zahed and his brother Omar attacked at a Sydney last week.
Tarek Zahed is now miraculously in a stable condition in hospital after being shot in a hail of bullets during a workout with his younger brother Omar – also a notorious gangland figure – died at the scene.
ACIC claim a cartel involving motorcycle gangs are responsible for smuggling up to $1.5billion in drugs through Australian borders every year