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Outlaw bikie gangs the Bandidos and Hells Angels open new chapters in Brisbane city area

BY: Josh Robertson

Australia - INFAMOUS rival bikie gangs the Hells Angels and Bandidos have quietly staked new claims to the Brisbane underworld.

The Bandidos beat their longtime rivals to the punch by opening a chapter in bohemian inner-city West End, meeting in a clubhouse at the end of a dead-end lane behind a bicycle shop.

Meanwhile, the Hells Angels are running a "Brisbane City Crew" without a clubhouse, following failed attempts to lease premises in West End, Fortitude Valley and Albion.

The new charters of both clubs, which were embroiled in violent feuds in Brisbane and Gold Coast last year and more recently in Melbourne, have coexisted without incident since October.

But their recruits give a glimpse of what one veteran bikie said was "that wannabe gangster attitude weanling its way in" to the state capital from the Gold Coast.

"You can see it with the new blokes and their lairy vests and gold chains," he said.

"From all I've heard of those lunatics (new Bandidos recruits), not one of them rides a bike.

"They shouldn't be known as bikies. Bikies want to be bikies, not gangsters. They're into bikes, drinking piss, rooting and fighting, not robbing banks."

The new cadre of Bandidos has links to a number of major drug traffickers who were Australian Crime Commission targets.

They include Long Tran Ly, who was jailed for 13 years for running Brisbane's then biggest heroin syndicate, and convicted cocaine traffickers Son Van Le and Peter Ferlan.

The West End clubhouse, flanked by CCTV cameras, opened the same month another associate, an accused drug trafficker, was linked to cash seized from a storage shed a kilometre away.

Hells Angels Brisbane city crew is linked to Peter Sidirourgous, who founded the Hells Angels Gold Coast chapter last year with murdered Sydney bikie Zeljko Mitrovic.

The Courier-Mail approached one-time Brisbane Hells Angels prospect Bruno Da Silva at his Millennium Locks business at East Brisbane to ask about the new charter.

Mr Da Silva was last year assaulted at work by masked men who attacked Sidirourgous' Norman Park tattoo parlour Platinum Ink half an hour earlier.

A Millennium staffer has previously answered a phone call by the Courier-Mail with "Hello, Platinum Ink".

Mr Da Silva refused to comment.

A burly, tattooed employee ushered a journalist from the premises, then followed him in secret for another two blocks.

A lawyer later sent a letter advising Mr Da Silva would complain to police of trespass if the journalist returned.

Bandidos West End president Anthony Toumpas, 31, is a one-time TAFE Justice Studies student whose tow truck sits idle most days outside the clubhouse.

He escaped a jail sentence in May over his bashing of an unconscious Gold Coast lawyer which prompted him to seek psychological counselling.

Former professional cyclist Cameron Hughes, who runs a business in the same building, said the Bandidos made "the perfect neighbour" because they deterred thieves and vandals.

"I've heard stories about (Bandido meetings) but even if it's true, it's good for us," he said.

Detective Superintendent Brendan Smith said police had intercepted members of both groups and arrested associates for drugs and tainted cash.

"All outlaw motorcycle gangs have links with crime, that's one of the major concerns for the community and that's why we actively target them and engage with them," he said.

Detective Inspector Garry Watts said police gang squad Task Force Hydra would "continue to monitor those outlaw motorcycle gangs and respond to information in relation to criminal activity".

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