Bikie gang digs boots into region’s underworld
A NOTORIOUS Kiwi bikie gang, the Mongrel Mob, is muscling into Townsville, with several members already believed to be recruited.
The Townsville Bulletin has confirmed the New Zealand gang has been digging its roots into the region, its newest base outside of southeast Queensland, with one man believed to be behind the movement.
The man, who the Bulletin has chosen not to name, has lived in Townsville for 15 years, and is alleged to have begun recruiting in September.
His activities were revealed to the Bulletin just days after an in-depth report into the secret inner workings of the drug-running bikie scene in North Queensland.
The Bulletin understands this man has already recruited about eight members into the North Queensland chapter of the Mongrel Mob.
He doesn't try to hide his affiliations, flashing patches around on his social media page, and posing in the club's apparel and colours with others.
The Mongrel Mob began in the 1960s with a group of youths from Wellington and Hawke's Bay, and started wearing patches bearing the name by 1966.
The group expanded into Australia in 2013 when they first appeared in Melbourne, linked to drug trafficking and other crime, before heading north.
It started branching out of its Logan heartland and into the Gold Coast in 2016 to hide criminal activity, and became outlawed in Queensland in 2018.
Just two weeks ago, a middle-aged Mongrel Mob member was arrested in Cairns after police raided multiple homes and allegedly seized a stack of drugs and $65,000.
This is not the first instance of bikie activity in Townsville, with an Odins Warrior's event busted at a Garbutt address in August.
The Bulletin also revealed in September how gangs were cruising up the Bruce Highway to sell their drugs for a premium in North Queensland, compared to the prices they get in the nightclubs of Brisbane and Gold Coast.
The Bulletin can confirm that Taskforce Maxima was meant to head to Townsville in October, but the killing of Gold Coat bikie Shane Bowden put things on the backburner.
Organised Crime Gangs Group Detective Acing Superintendent Craig McGrath would not confirm this, and did not comment on when or if Taskforce Maxima would be in the region.
"The Mongrel Mob like all other criminal gangs and OMCGs across Queensland, are monitored by the QPS regarding membership, their activities and where they may be meeting to reduce the risk posed to the community," Supt McGrath said.
"Specialist units within the Crime and Intelligence Command's Organised Crime Gangs Group (including Taskforce Maxima) work with local police across the state targeting and monitoring criminal gangs on an ongoing basis.
"This includes deployments to support regions, with Maxima officers in Far North Queensland last month, and in Townsville in August."
Supt McGrath said Townsville's Major Organised Crime Squad (MOCS) took an "active role" in keeping tabs on gangs.
Townsville MOCS declined to make a comment about the Mongrel Mob.
Originally published as Bikie gang digs boots into region's underworld