Australia's Hells Angels, please explain lifestyle

Thu Jun 3, 2010 2:47am EDT
 
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SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Australia's Hells Angels bikers will be forced explain how they pay for their extravagant lifestyles with sports cars high-end bikes and after losing a court case brought by the Australian Crime Commission.

Twelve of the Hells Angels bosses will be quizzed about their activities with the notorious biker gang, dating back 19 years, Sydney's Daily Telegraph newspaper reported on Thursday.

The bikers lost a Federal Court case on Wednesday aimed at preventing the Australian Crime Commission examination.

Sports cars, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, drugs, firearms, computers and financial documents relating to biker activities were seized in recent police raids, said the newspaper.

As a result, the 12 Hells Angels bosses were served with summons to appear before the commission, to answer questions on tax fraud and their finances.

The commission has sweeping powers to force the biker bosses to give evidence against fellow bikers if they are involved in crimes including drug and violence offences.

Biker gangs in Australia such as the Hells Angels, Nomads, Rebels, Commancheros and Bandidos have periodically waged violent turf wars involving drive-by shootings and firebombings, as they seek to control their lucrative drug trades, say police.

In 2009, Hells Angels and Commancheros fought a deadly brawl at Sydney Airport in front of terrified passengers. One biker was beaten to death by up to 15 others wielding metal bollards used to separate passengers in the airport flight check-in area.

(Reporting by Michael Perry; Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)