Comanchero gang raids: Gold chain and luxury luggage among assets frozen by police
A $13000 Louis Vuitton bag and a gold chain worth over $9000 are among items police seized in raids on properties associated with the Comanchero Motorcycle Club.
As well as the bag and necklace, officers froze other assets, including two residential properties, several luxury cars and cash.
Police estimate the items have a combined value of over $3.7 million.
The assets were frozen under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act and comes after the New Zealand president of the Comancheros gang and associates were arrested.
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Under criminal proceeds legislation, police can freeze assets if they believe they are the result of serious criminal offending.
If police can prove on the balance of probabilities that the specific property is tainted, they can have the property forfeited.
Police arrested six people in the raids that took place across Auckland. As well as gang associates, police also charged a lawyer and an accountant, alleging they had helped the gang.
The pair have name suppression.
According to court documents released to Stuff on Monday, police have frozen two residential properties - one in Bucklands Beach with a capital value of $1.6 million and the other in Lynfield with a capital value of $1.15m.
Police also found more than $100,000 in cash at four addresses and seized vehicles, including a Rolls Royce, three Range Rovers and five Harley-Davidson motorbikes.
The Official Assignee plans to sell the vehicles, to ensure the assets don't lose value.
The application to freeze the assets, filed on behalf of the police, claim the group "unlawfully benefited from significant criminal activity and they have interests in the property (or effective control of it) …".
Police went on to say they believed the group had been supplying methamphetamine and cocaine, as well as money laundering.
The assets were seized back in April when more than 80 officers, including the Armed Offenders Squad, dog squad and a specialist search group, executed search warrants on addresses across the city and arrested Comanchero members and associates.
Shortly after the arrests were made, national manager of the Financial Crime Group, Detective Superintendent Iain Chapman, said the assets were significant because they were status symbols used as "a sphere of influence" to entice young people to join their ranks.
"These seizures are also about removing the symbols of status and influence used by organised crime groups to attract others to join," he said.
- The Comanchero Motorcycle Club was formed by William George "Jock" Ross, a Scottish immigrant, in Sydney in 1968.
- Ross chose the name after seeing the John Wayne film The Comancheros.
- In 1982, a second chapter was formed by Anthony Mark "Snoddy" Spencer. When visiting the United States, Spencer met members of the Texan motorcycle club, the Bandidos, and the two gangs became allies.
- The Bandidos eventually patched-over the second Comanchero chapter to become the Bandidos' first Australian chapter.
- The Comanchero and Bandidos are now rivals and, in 1984, the two clubs were involved in the Milperra massacre in Sydney, a shoot-out which left seven people dead, including four Comancheros, two Bandidos, and a 14-year-old bystander.