News State Victoria Seven charged after Melbourne money-laundering raids targeting Comancheros

Seven charged after Melbourne money-laundering raids targeting Comancheros

Man arrested in Comanchero raids
One of nine people arrested in the raids. Photo: Victoria Police
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Police raids on more than 40 Victorian properties including brothels and tattoo parlours have led to seven people being charged after a major anti-bikie sting.

Men and women aged 22 to 76 face a range of charges including drug possession and weapons offences following 44 search warrants executed on Wednesday.

Officers swooped on residential and commercial properties with alleged links to the outlaw Comancheros gang, with gyms and accountancy businesses among those hit.

Logo of the Comancheros Australia Motorcycle Club
The raids targeted firms used as in money laundering activities for the bikie gang. Photo:

Three of those arrested face charges of false accounting.

Two people, both aged 41, have been interviewed and released pending further inquiries.

Those arrested were not gang members, but legitimately involved in running the businesses, police said.

Anti-bikie taskforce officers and federal police were among those who carried out the 44 warrants as part of investigations into alleged money laundering.

They seized drugs, motorcycles, large amounts of cash and computers, along with pallets of alcohol tipped to be worth over $1 million.

The dramatic efforts are part of a national day of action against the Comancheros and businesses allegedly linked to the group.

Commander Cindy Millen said it was a “significant blow” for the gang.

“The Comancheros are a group we know have traditionally been involved in violent crimes such as shootings, assaults, arson, drug trafficking and extortion,” she said, adding that police hope to shut down the gang’s operations.

Nitro gym in Hallam Victoria
This gym at Hallam was one of 44 properties targeted by police. Photo: ABC

“The public might not be aware they were using a service linked to an outlaw gang and contributing to organised crime.

“The businesses are allegedly used as a front for organised crime activities and money laundering activities,” Commander Millen said.

Each of the two women and five men charged will face court at later dates.