Law enforcement specialists gathered in Croatia to discuss expansion of Hells Angels into South-East Europe and Turkey
The Hague - The Netherlands.
Europe is the continent with the highest increase in new Outlaw Motorcycle Club Gang (OMCG's) chapters. During the last five years Bandidos, Hells Angels and the Outlaws have opened more than 120 chapters which makes a total number of more than 425 chapters in Europe. The number of chapters for these three large groups in the United States and Canada are around 300.
Europol is following the developments of the OMCG's as part of its responsibility to monitor the threat from organised crime and terrorism in Europe. The OMCG's are identified as a national threat and as a national policing priority in several EU countries. Because of a recent significant expansion of the presence of the Hells Angels into South-East Europe, Europol and the Croatian Ministry of Interior this week co-organised a seminar for law enforcement specialists in Dubrovnik. The seminar was financed by the European Commission's TAIEX programme and representatives from Albania, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Republic of Serbia and Turkey received presentations from expert speakers from Europol, Luxemburg, Norway and Spain. The aim of the seminar was to raise a national and regional awareness about the character of the OMCG's in South-East Europe and Turkey.
"Serious criminality is a feature of the activities of Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs in Europe. At Europol, therefore, we are worried about their expansion and are increasing our efforts to track their activities. Working with our law enforcement colleagues across Europe we are determined to bring to an end their illicit activities in society," says Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol.
Europol offers support to the countries facing the challenge of dealing with OMCG gangs through its analytical and criminal intelligence-sharing capabilities and encourages the participating countries to establish a single point of contact within national law enforcement authorities.