Australia's largest outlaw motorcycle gang is trying to set up shop in New Zealand but enforcement agencies here say they are actively working to ensure the gang does not get a foothold and intend to disrupt their establishment plans.
Detective Superintendent Brett Kane, Organised and Financial Crime Agency (OFCANZ) said the gang, which calls itself the Rebel Motorcycle Club, was involved in serious violence as well as drug manufacture and trafficking in Australia.
"For several months we have been aware of their attempts to set up a chapter in New Zealand."
Whanganui Police have begun the process to have the Rebels designated as a gang under the local bylaw for enforcement purposes.
If that process is successful they will be added to the list of gangs under the bylaw which prohibits the wearing of gang patches within the Whanganui bylaw designated area.
"OFCANZ and Police in all districts will be very proactive in policing members of this gang. Rebels gang members have been sighted in a number of localities throughout the North Island recently and been the focus of Police attention already.
The members sighted wearing the Rebels patches are well known to Police and were previously members of another outlaw motorcycle gang in New Zealand.
As recently as last Wednesday (26 January 2011) Auckland Police dealt with more than a dozen patched Rebels members near Auckland Airport.
"At the same time an Australian Rebels member trying to get into New Zealand was turned around upon arrival at Auckland International Airport and sent back to where he came from."
"They will continue to be the focus of concentrated law enforcement attention as we intend to disrupt their plans to establish this gang here," Mr Kane said.
"We don't intend to put a welcome mat out for these people."
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