Bandidos bikies set up shop in Darwin

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DOZENS of members of the Bandidos bikie gang will be in Darwin tonight for the official opening of the outlaw group’s new Top End clubhouse.

The formal establishment of a Darwin chapter of the Bandidos has sparked fears of a turf war with other groups, including the Rebels.

Police are also concerned the celebrations could turn violent if the Bandidos’ party extends beyond its Winnellie clubhouse and into the city’s nightclub strip on Mitchell St.

Gang rules dictate a “one in all in” mentality if rival bikies cross paths.

The official opening comes a year after the NT News revealed the Bandidos intentions to start a Darwin chapter.

The gang boasts only a handful of Top End members and the travelling bikies are expected to leave the Top End once the party is over.

Bandidos members wearing the gang’s trademark logo were moving into the new clubhouse yesterday, in preparation for the unveiling.

The Darwin Chapter is yet to be listed on the Bandidos website.

NT Police have bolstered their presence in anticipation of a tense night on Mitchell St.

Organised Crime Division Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Stringer said police don’t expect a conflict at the clubhouse.

“The thing with those guys is when you get groups of them together their club rules are that if there’s any conflict they expected to stand up and not back down. It’s one in all in,” he said.

“There were a few minor incidents a few months ago. There are only three or four of them in Darwin. There were more but they have been kicked out and some have left.

“They are a one per cent outlaw club. “

The Bandidos were scoping the Darwin area for a potential after first being spotted in Darwin in October.

Victorian-based Australian boss Jason Addison confirmed the gang had set up a Darwin chapter late last year.

Police were aware the Bandidos had been actively searching for a clubhouse over the past 12 months.

The Rebels and Hells Angels have had long-standing chapters in the Top End.

Darwin is an attractive prospect for bikie gangs because of the high price of drugs compared to other capital cities.

The arrival of the Bandidos comes after a week of violence and high-profile arrests of rival bikie gangs in Darwin.

Rebels’ sergeant-at-arms Shannon Althouse was run down and seriously injured during an altercation at a Yarrawonga industrial property on Tuesday.

He was left in an induced coma as police investigated the motive behind the incident.

Last weekend Nomads national office-bearer Stephen Garland was arrested after a package containing 3kg of the drug ecstasy destined for Darwin was intercepted in Sydney.

Garland was extradited to Sydney after NSW Police found the package, which contained an estimated $750,000 worth of ecstasy.

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