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Portugal charges 89 Hells Angels bikers after brutal attack

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal’s attorney general’s office says authorities have charged 89 Hells Angels bikers with crimes including attempted murder, grievous bodily harm, extortion and drug trafficking.

In a statement Thursday, it said the accused were armed with knives and bats when bursting into a restaurant near Lisbon last year and tried to kill four people. Two of those charged are in Germany awaiting a ruling on Portugal’s extradition requests.

The incident sparked a major police investigation, with 400 detectives deployed across the country in a crackdown on the Hells Angels motorcycle gang.

The Hells Angels gang is relatively new in Portugal. Elsewhere in Europe, prosecutors in the Britain, Germany and the Netherlands have cracked down on its activities in recent times.

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Court releases 17 Hells Angels

The 17 Hells Angels bikers detained by Portugal's criminal investigation force on Tuesday have been released their lawyers told Lusa.

According to lawyers Martins Leitão and José Carlos Cardoso, the defendants must present themselves once a month to authorities and are prohibited from contacting each other and other members linked to the Hells Angels.

They are also prohibited from participating in biker gatherings, being in spaces usually attended by bikers and leaving the country.

This case already has 87 defendants.

The police arrested these 17 members on Tuesday based on suspected criminal association and other crimes.

On that day, the police said that the men were aged between 29 and 52 and that the operation carried out is part of the same investigation into which 41 defendants are in pre-trial detention since July 2018.

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Portugal arrests 17 Hells Angels biker gang members in raids across country

LISBON, May 21 (Reuters) - Portuguese police arrested 17 members of the Hells Angels motorcycle club on Tuesday on suspicion of organised crime activity, authorities said.

Around 150 officers, including anti-terrorism personnel, took part in raids on homes and commercial establishments across Portugal, the Judiciary Police (PJ) said in a statement.

TV channel SIC reported homes were searched in the capital Lisbon, the country's north and the Algarve in the south where thousands of bikers gather every year for an international motorcycle event.

Police confirmed 17 men belonging to the Hells Angels and aged between 29 and 52 were detained and expected to appear in court on Wednesday, charged with criminal association - which in Portugal is punishable by up to five years in jail.

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Faro biker rally 'without incidents' - Police

Thousands of motorcyclists participated in a procession on Sunday at the end of the 37th international biker rally in Faro, riding around the main streets applauded by thousands of spectators in an event that went off “without incidents”.

The biker procession began mid-morning in Vale das Almas near Faro beach, “blocked” the main roads in the town, which were closed for some time by the police.

The procession at the close of what is considered to be Europe’s biggest biker rally included representatives of almost all the motorbike clubs in Portugal as well as bikers from various European countries, particularly Spain, which once again had many participants.

This year’s edition had extra policing after the arrest of more than 50 Hells Angels in Portugal. The event passed off “without incidents or accidents with serious injuries”, the police told Lusa.

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Portuguese police nab dozens of Hells Angels biker gang members

LISBON (Reuters) - Over 400 Portuguese police, including the antiterrorism unit, detained several dozen members of the Hells Angels motorcycle club in raids on 80 homes and localities across the country on Wednesday.

Police said the operation followed investigations into the international group’s activities in Portugal, adding that some of its members were “extremely dangerous”, with long criminal records and long experience of organized violent crime.

The raids took place about a week before an annual international motorcycle gathering in Faro in southern Portugal, which brings together thousands of bikers from all over Europe.

One of the investigations has been looking into an attack in March by a group of Hells Angels members, some of them foreign, against a rival motorcycle gang and their allies from a neo-Nazi group in what the authorities believe is a turf war for control of illicit guns and drug trade.