Bandidos members to gather in far north Queensland for president's funeral

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Police say they are well-prepared for the funeral of a high-ranking former Bandido which is expected to attract up to 100 outlaw motorcycle gang members to far north Queensland this weekend.

The one-time president of the club's Mission Beach chapter, Maxwell Patrick Geary, 52, died last week after his station wagon veered off the Palmerston Highway near Millaa Millaa and went down a steep embankment and crashed.

Mr Geary was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment for drug trafficking in 2001.

In 2014, he was given a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to possessing a weapon and ordering the theft of two jet skis.

The court heard Mr Geary had left the Bandidos by then to work in the banana industry.

Detective Inspector Geoff Marsh said Mr Geary's funeral and wake were being held on a private property at Mission Beach on Saturday.

He said police were expecting between 60 to 100 Bandidos from chapters around Australia to attend.

"I have been in contact personally with the national president of the Bandidos who resides in Victoria and he has given me nothing but utmost assurances that the intentions of the OMCG [outlaw motorcycle gang] members attending the Cassowary Coast and Cairns area is only good," Detective Inspector Marsh said.

"They are there merely to show their respect to Pat, his family, and also his other colleagues and associates from the Cassowary Coast and Cairns area.

"They have full comprehension of the VLAD [Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment] legislation as it impacts on them."

Police will enforce VLAD law, but exercise some discretion

Earlier this month, the State Government indicated it would scrap the controversial VLAD laws introduced by the Newman administration, including measures banning three or more bikie gang members from gathering in public.

It followed a review by Justice Alan Wilson, which described the mandatory sentences imposed under the legislation as "excessively harsh".

But the Government assured the legislation would remain in force until it passed new laws targeting organised crime, including consorting offences.

 

Detective Inspector Marsh said while police intended to "fully enforce" the current VLAD law, they would exercise some discretion.

"Obviously out of respect for the nature of the event, we have no intention in policing a group of people gathering for a funeral," he said.

He said there would be a slightly increased police presence around Cairns and the Cassowary Coast on the weekend, including Taskforce Maxima officers who have flown up from Brisbane.

Detective Inspector Marsh said the public had no cause for alarm.

"If they are to meet or socialise it's to be in private places and not in public. Wearing any paraphernalia which may identify them as a member of an OMCG, that's an offence under the Liquor Act. They're fully aware of this," he said.

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Sharnie Kim
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