Deadly arsenal seized from OMCGs

Editor’s Note:
Images of seized items available via Hightail
Audio grabs available via Hightail

The AFP-led National Anti-Gangs Squad (NAGS) seized 96 firearms and arrested 66 outlaw motorcycle gang members and associates last financial year.

The deadly arsenal included military-grade automatic weapons, sawn-off shotguns, loaded handguns and firearm parts.

AFP Detective Superintendent Anthony Conway said while some weapons were hidden in wall cavities or storage containers, investigators found others loaded and easily accessible in cars and homes, highlighting the risks posed to police and the public.

“Outlaw motorcycle gangs will use firearms to commit violent acts, as well as to intimidate rivals to protect their criminal interests. Even when they are targeting each other, their access to these weapons puts innocent people at risk,” Det-Supt Conway said.

“They have callous disregard for the lives of others and that is why the NAGS teams are focused on seizing illicit firearms and disrupting their criminal businesses however we can.”

The 66 OMCG members and associates arrested were charged with a total of 124 offences, compared to 63 arrests and 204 charges laid in the previous year. 

More than $2.3 million cash, luxury cars, motorbikes and gold bullion were among the suspected illicit assets seized during NAGS-led investigations in 2021-2022 to disrupt the financial base of gang-related crime.

NAGS comprises members from the AFP, state and territory police forces and the Australian Taxation Office. These teams work closely with the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Australian Border Force, AUSTRAC, Attorney-General's Department, Department of Home Affairs and Department of Human Services.

Det-Supt Conway said NAGS provided an unprecedented level of cooperation across Australian law enforcement agencies to combat gang-related crime and keep communities safe.

The NAGS strike teams and other AFP specialists, including imagery and geomatics trained members, also support operations led by state and territory police gang crime squads.

“OMCGs have evolved into violent criminal networks that pose a significant threat to Australia’s economy, our national security and our way of life, and these gangs are not restricted by state or national borders,” Det-Supt Conway said.

They import and supply illicit drugs that bring harm to our communities and they infiltrate legitimate businesses to launder their dirty profits. We have seen too often the violence on our streets by gangs fighting over territory or power – and too many cases of innocent people being caught in the crossfire.

“Our agencies combine our powers and do everything from executing warrants on clubhouses and investigating tax and welfare payments, to confiscating assets and restricting travel movements to disrupt these criminal gangs and protect the Australian community.”

Det-Supt Conway warned that even when OMCG members or associates moved offshore, they were not out of reach of the AFP.

“The AFP has a presence in 33 countries through the agency’s International network and the AFP works closely with international partners to disrupt Australian criminals living abroad,” he said.

Case Studies:

Western Australia:

A sawn-off shotgun, cash and methamphetamines were allegedly found on the kitchen bench at the home of an OMCG associate when police executed a search warrant in Perth’s southern suburbs in June (2022).

WA NAGS had been investigating the man’s alleged involvement in drug supply in Perth.  It will be alleged the man is an associate of both the Mongols and Rebels OMCGs.

WA NAGS and WA Police Force Gang Crime Squad investigators seized about $148,000 cash, more than one kilogram of methamphetamine (about 200g in a bag on the kitchen bench and the rest hidden throughout the house) and the sawn-off shotgun from the man’s home.

The man, now 40, and another man, 38, also at the property have each been charged with several offences over the illicit items:

  • Possess a trafficable quantity of a prohibited drug with intent to sell/supply, contrary to section 6(1)(a) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1982 (WA);
  • Laundering property or money from proceeds of an offence, contrary to section 563A(1)(b) of the Criminal Code Compilation Act 1913 (WA);
  • Possess a prohibited drug, contrary to section 6(2) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1982 (WA);
  • Possess firearm with circumstances of aggravation, contrary to section 19(1)(c) of the Firearms Act 1973 (WA);
  • Having ready access to both weapons and cash, contrary to section 68D(2) of the Criminal Code Compilation Act 1913 (WA); and
  • Having ready access to both weapons and illegal drugs, contrary to section 68E(2) of the Criminal Code Compilation Act 1913 (WA).


Three luxury vehicles, a gold 2019 Harley Davidson motorcycle, gold bullion, jewellery and about $20,000 cash were seized in March (2022) as part of a drug trafficking investigation.

Investigators from Tasmania NAGS and Tasmania Police were investigating a syndicate with alleged links to the Comanchero and Rebels OMCGs suspected of importing substantial quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin into Tasmania.

As a result of inquiries, Tas NAGS and TasPol officers, with support from NSW Police, executed a search warrant at the home of an alleged high-level syndicate member in suburban Sydney.

Police seized assets from the home, which they will allege were either profits of criminal activities or purchased with illicit profits.

The cars were a red 2019 Ferrari Italiana Piste valued at $900,000, a red 1974 Ferrari Dino 264GT valued at $700,000 and a blue 2011 Ferrari 360 Spider valued at $130,000.

The man, 37, was charged with drug trafficking and was extradited to Tasmania where he remains in custody awaiting trial.


NSW NAGS launched Operation Chaupar in February (2022) to identify a transnational crime syndicate that attempted to smuggle 11 kilograms of methamphetamine into Australia.

Australian Border Force (ABF) officers in New South Wales allegedly found the illicit drugs concealed in a consignment of diving equipment that arrived by air cargo from Belgium.

NSW NAGS substituted the drugs for a harmless substance before delivering the consignment to a Sydney property.

As a result of inquiries, two men were identified as allegedly being part of the syndicate and had attempted to take possession of the methamphetamine.

NAGS officers searched the men’s homes and allegedly found an unsecured air rifle and flick knife at one home, while a dedicated encrypted communication device and a small amount of white crystalline substance were found at the other residence.

The men, now aged 54 and 29, are before the courts for drug importation, possession, and weapon offences.


An investigation by Queensland NAGS and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) into suspected drug production and trafficking involving the Hells Angels OMCG resulted in the discovery in November (2021) of a clandestine drug laboratory in a Brisbane shed, six firearms and about $150,000 suspected illicit cash.

NAGS sought urgent assistance from Queensland Police Service (QPS) in November as a result of inquiries.

Detectives from the QPS’ Organised Crime Gangs Group executed emergency search powers on an industrial property in Brisbane’s south, where they allegedly found a sophisticated drug lab, as well as 12 kilograms of drugs including heroin and methamphetamine.

NAGS officers arrested two men nearby and seized five automatic assault rifles and a handgun from shed located on the industrial property.  A short time later, NAGS officers arrested an associate of the two men after a search of his vehicle revealed $151,000 in alleged proceeds of crime.

The two men, an alleged Hells Angels OMCG member, 32, and an associate, 47, were charged with drugs and firearms offences.


NAGS investigators and the AFP Forensic Search and Imagery team provided investigative and specialist search capability to the Victoria Police Echo Taskforce during multiple investigations last financial year, resulting in the seizure of guns, illicit drugs and cash.

These include an investigation targeting a chapter of the Mongols OMCG in rural Victoria resulted in guns, illicit drugs and cash being found in July (2021). Multiple cars and properties were searched, with a loaded .38 revolver and $100,000 cash allegedly found in a hidden compartment in a vehicle dashboard. Two drug presses, ammunition and about $70,000 cash were also seized. Illicit drugs were found in a concealed compartment behind a fridge at one home. An alleged senior member of the Mongols OMCG and 11 other people were charged with a variety of drugs, firearms and traffic offences.

In August (2021) AFP officers provided investigative and specialist search capability support for a search warrant at a rural property as part of a firearms importation and trafficking  matter.  A man was charged with firearm manufacturing offences after authorities allegedly found multiple firearm parts, ammunition, a 3D printer and computer blueprints for printing parts for a non-commercially manufactured semi-automatic firearm. 

In November (2021) a loaded home-made machine gun, ammunition, about $60,000 cash, a mobile phone frequency jammer, a cash counting machine and illicit drugs were found by police during searches of Melbourne homes. The gun was found in a hidden compartment under the oven, while some of the cash was found behind drawers and in a cushion. The warrants were part of a long running Victoria Police firearm and drug trafficking investigation, which resulted in the arrest of 20 people following a year-long investigation. The investigation stemmed from intelligence gathered during the AFP-led Operation Ironside and NAGS officers helped uncover the illicit items.

Northern Territory:

NT NAGS has supported the NT Police Gangs Task Force (GTF) to seized loaded firearms from OMCG members and associates in multiple incidents since July 2021. Some of the guns had serial numbers removed in an attempt to hide their origins.

 NT Police Assistant Commissioner Crime, Intelligence & Capability, Michael White APM said: “NT Police continues to focus on the dismantling of organised crime entities including OMCG’s who use intimidation and violence to further their illicit activities placing our community at risk. Removing weapons from such entities is key to keeping our community safe.”

Incidents include:

An alleged Mongrel Mob associate was charged in November (2021) after police seized a sawn off .22 calibre rifle with the serial number removed, magazines and ammunition from his car. The rifle was allegedly found wrapped in a towel in the front passenger foot-well, while spare ammunition and magazines were in a sunglass case.  Police also allegedly found two crossbows, two combat knives, a machete and a tomahawk in the car. Pics labelled NT 3 series.

In December 2021, NT Police GTF and NAGS investigators allegedly found eight unsecured firearms including a 7.62mm SKS semi-automatic rifle, a .22 semi-automatic rifle, a loaded 22LR rifle, a .22 lever action rifle, a BRUNO 375cal H&H rifle, a 12g bolt action shotgun, a 44 Magnum revolver, a Marlin 30/30 rifle, a silencer; and 1080 rounds of ammunition at the home of a Hells Angels OMCG member. All weapons had serial numbers removed. Pics: NT 1 series.

In January (2022), police allegedly found a loaded mini revolver in the glovebox of a car being driven by an alleged associate of the Hells Angels and Gypsy Jokers OMCGs. Police also allegedly found spare ammunition, along with the easily concealable gun, during the vehicle search. Pics: labelled NT 2 series.

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