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Spanish police raid Hells Angels in crackdown

Wednesday, 24 Jul 2013 | 7:33 AM ET
Martin Rose | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Spanish police carried out 31 simultaneous dawn raids on houses and arrested a total of 25 Hells Angels motorcycle club (HAMC) members on Wednesday, according to Europol, the European Union's law enforcement agency.

The raids were conducted by Spanish police SWAT teams on the island of Mallorca, where Hells Angels had recently opened a new charter with support from Hells Angels clubs in Germany and Luxembourg. The operation involved more than 200 law enforcement officers, according to Europol.

It said Hells Angels members are suspected of being involved in several crimes including drug trafficking, trafficking in human beings, extortion, money laundering and corruption. During the house searches on Wednesday, police seized cars, motorcycles, cash and firearms. Investigators also seized computers, laptops, mobile phones and electronic devices.

The dawn raids are the culmination of a two and a half year investigation into the group by Spain, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Austria.

Europol said that the main threat to public safety associated with Hells Angels and other OMCGs (Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs) "stems from their propensity to use extreme forms of violence."

"This includes the use of arms, explosive devices such as grenades, and the indiscriminate nature with which this violence is often used in open conflicts between rival groups."


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