CRIMINAL biker gangs from central Europe are causing concern amongst Spanish law enforcement agencies, who advise that action should be taken now to clamp down on their activities.
A statement issued by the Interior Ministry on the issue reads: “It is the right time to increase preventive police activity and investigation, considering their developing state in our country.”
Biker gangs such as the famous Hell’s Angels, Satudarah MC, No Surrender MC and Bandidos MC have strong followings in countries including Germany and the Netherlands, but appear to be gaining popularity in Spain, too.
Quite apart from the image of bearded, leather-clad men riding along on their motorcycles, these gangs also have a long tradition of criminal activity, including drug dealing and trafficking, extortion, money laundering and violent crimes.
There are currently more than 80 criminal investigations under way in these countries, with gang members suspected of having committed a wide range of crimes up to and including murder and attempted murder.
According to police reports, the first biker gang to establish itself in Spain was Saturadah MC, with six clubs spread through Catalonia, Madrid, Galicia and Andalucia, where its presence is felt most strongly. The majority of its members are believed to be Dutch nationals.
The report, as presented to El Pais, went on to say: “Their introduction has come hand in hand with the establishment of legitimate businesses in sectors such as the hotel and restaurant industry, the automobile sector, and real estate. These businesses are run exclusively by gang members and conceal networks whose purpose is to hide the profits of the illegal activities committed in their countries of origin.”
Conflict and in-fighting within the gang has led to a break-away group being founded under the name ‘No Surrender MC.’ Police investigating the gang believe that it could have up to 160 members in Spain.
The Dutch authorities have been asked to assist in tracking down and dealing with the gangs and their members by the Spanish Interior Ministry, who hope to nip this new criminal threat in the bud before it gains too much influence.