Raptor police tackle NSW bikie conflict

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Thirteen alleged outlaw motorcycle gang members have been charged after raids in the NSW Hunter region with a specialist police squad staying in town to stop what's being called the biggest bikie conflict in NSW.

Thirty-one properties, from Muswellbrook to Newcastle, were targeted in Thursday's large-scale sting involving more than 280 police officers cracking down on the escalating conflict between rival gangs - the Finks and the Nomads.

Weapons, explosive detonators, guns, drugs and reptiles were seized, while 11 of those arrested were charged with participating in a criminal group and two were charged with drug offences.

Strikeforce Raptor, the squad of officers most reviled by the OMCG underworld, will remain in the region to support local police until the conflict ends.

The raids follow an investigation into the ongoing "civil war" between the two gangs, believed to have begun in late 2016, when a former Nomads bikie switched allegiance by "patching over" to the Finks.

There have since been a string of incidents, from assaults to drive-by shootings and firebombings, each more serious than the last.

In an affidavit tendered to the NSW Supreme Court last week, Sergeant Gary Broadhurst said the Hunter conflict was the most significant bikie war occurring in NSW.

The 13 men charged were granted strict conditional bail, with nine scheduled to appear at Newcastle Local Court on May 3 and the remaining four due to appear at the same court on April 26.

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thewest.com.au




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