|34-year-old Luke Joshua Cook and his Thai wife Kanyarat Wedphitak were arrested at Bangkok's main airport on Saturday for attempting to smuggle half a tonne of crystal meth into Thailand in 2015. Cook's arrest comes amid a widening crackdown against the Hells Angels, who have chapters in Bangkok and Pattaya.|
Cook is believed to have helped Australian Antonio Bagnato, 28, escape to Cambodia after the murder of Wayne Schneider.
|Authorities describe the HA as a "big transnational crime organisation which is escalating its operations in Thailand" The Australian Hells Angels are notorious for prostitution, racketeering, drugs and arms trafficking, and they have expanded operations into Thailand as authorities tighten the noose on their home soil.|
|Over 700 police including special forces in 16 cities have raided about 50 properties. Due to the "dangerousness of some bikers" police used special task forces and dogs in some locations. HA are strongly entrenched in North Rhine-Westphalia. The biker gang and its purpose and activities are in violation of criminal law, according to the NRW interior ministry’s statement.|
The ban was reportedly justified because of ample evidence, the gang had been monitored for some time.
|“The law does not accept that parallel societies can proliferate in which their authority and monopoly on violence are ignored" said NRW interior minister Herbert Reul.|
|Police are confiscating assets, including motorcycles belonging to members. “The members of the organization have demonstrated they are criminals. Their everyday lives consist of violence, weapons, drugs and forced prostitution" said Reul. The ban is part of a zero-tolerance strategy of the state government against criminal biker gangs, he added.|
The first German chapter of the Hells Angels was founded in 1970 in Hamburg. Hells Angels are notorious in Germany for their permanent links to corruption, violence, drug dealing, human trafficking, arms trading and murder. It is estimated upwards of 6,000 OMG members are effected by new German laws.
|A brawl involving upwards of 75 bikers resulted in injuries and charges, the most serious of which is assaulting an officer with a knife. Tensions were brewing throughout the evening as officers were already outside the bar, standing across the street from the combatants before the fight actually started.|
Two handguns, multiple knives and other weapons were seized.
|The event was at the Topside Bar & Grill, a bar in Bristol, Rhode Island. John Remington, a member of the Hells Angels was having a drink when 56-year-old Carl Justice Nordstrom, a biker without gang affiliation, entered the bar with three of his companions.|
Unbeknownst to the Hells Angel, Nordstrom was a former professional heavyweight boxer who finished his career with a record of 10-2-2, including 8 wins by knockout. He didn’t get far before being arrested and was charged with disorderly conduct and possession of a knife. Despite being taken to hospital suffering a broken nose, fractured leg, and cuts to the face, Remington refused to press charges. He too was charged with disorderly conduct.
|Raymond Michael Foakes, 53, a member of the Hells Angels MC in Santa Rosa was arrested Monday night on suspicion of sexual assault, victim intimidation, stalking and gang participation.|
When a 49-year-old Santa Rosa woman learned her husband was about to be stripped of his membership in the club, she met with Foakes to get answers. A meeting was set up after the victim received a phone call about 11 p.m. to meet Foakes at the Hells Angels Clubhouse. Foakes drove to a secluded area and sexually assaulted her, threatening to hurt her husband if she didn’t submit.
Foakes drove back to the Hells Angels Clubhouse after the assault.
Foakes is a past president of the Sonoma County Hells Angels and has a long and violent history. He had formerly served prison sentences for a variety of offenses including from the infamous 'River Run Riot', a confrontation between the Hells Angels and the Mongols in Laughlin, Nevada on April 27, 2002.|
Mongol Anthony Barrera, 43, was stabbed to death, and two Hells Angels, Jeramie Bell, 27, and Robert Tumelty, 50, were shot to death. Foakes also has fraud, money laundering and drug possession and distribution convictions.
|There are no new insights about Mucuk's death. The 45-year-old was the leader of the Turkish faction within the Hells Angels during a power struggle with the more established Frankfurt Hells Angels chapter.|
In July 2015 he was finally able to open the charter in Mittelhessen.
|Two months after German Hells Angels leader Aygün Mucuk was cut down by 19 bullets, police are no closer to finding his killer. Mucuk's plans to set up his own charter in Giessen led to a power struggle within the Hells Angels in Frankfurt. Mucuk, originally from the Westend charter, wanted to found the Giessen charter in the summer of 2014. A few days before the official launch, Mucuk and four others were injured in a targeted shooting.|
There has been a bitter rivalry between the Giessen Hells Angels, whose membership is largely Turkish, and the long-established Hells Angels chapter in Frankfurt. |
Outlaw motorcycle gangs have about 6,000 members across Germany, the most prominent being the Hells Angels. Perhaps their most serious competition are from another US based gang, the Bandidos. The Bandidos are the ruling gang in the Ruhr region – something the Hells Angels are contesting. Motorcycle gangs are also fighting one another in northern Germany, where the Hells Angels have a strong advantage.
|Along with cheap prices and the ability to blend in with other "farangs" - foreigners, Phuket has much to offer.||Night is painted with flashing neon in Phuket. This is a party place - an escape of the everyday. But it is also a haven for criminals. The list is long ... fraudsters, murderers, pedophiles, fugitives on the run, many call Phuket home. Widespread corruption and slow computerization of government records has long made Thailand a safe haven from the long arm of the law.|
|The Hells Angels clubhouse overlooks Patong beach. No photo, no name, says the president of the Hells Angels Nomads as he stretches out his thick tattooed fist. The bikers keep a relatively low profile and need to keep the peace as the largest and strongest gang is always the Thai police. That all changed with the murder of high ranking member and wholesale drug trafficker Wayne Schneider, who was found naked with a broken neck, two meters underground.|
"We build playgrounds for orphans" says 'Dennis' when asked if the Hells Angels receive money through trafficking, drugs, weapons, prostitution or extortion. Dennis says the Hells Angels are not a criminal gang, but a charity of nice guys who happen to like motorcycles and have fun.
|In Phuket the Hells Angels often wear flip flops and drive mopeds. Harleys are impractical for short trips through the narrow streets. |
The Hells Angels Nomads have recently celebrated their 15th anniversary in Phuket. They like it here.
|Wayne Schneider began his career as a meth cook and later joined the Hells Angels in Sydney. In 2006 he was accused of shooting a bouncer outside a nightclub. In 2012 he relocated to Pattaya, Thailand and established a massive drug network.|
Police believe that a $1.5 billion drug bust, netting two tonnes of MDMA (ecstasy) and nearly one tonne of Meth, was linked to the Hells Angels, Comancheros, and Schneider. Schneider’s naked body was found on November 30 last year in a shallow grave in eastern Thailand. Schneider's bodyguard Tony Bagnato was arrested in Cambodia days after the murder.
Antonio Bagnato sits in police custody in Phnom Penh
| Police arrested 26-year-old Antonio Bagnato in a raid on the cheap hotel in Phnom Penh. He could face a death sentence if found guilty.|
Tyler Gerard, 21, is escorted by police in Pattaya to re-enact the murder of Australian Hells Angels biker Wayne Schneider
|Tyler Gerald, 21, was one of the five men who abducted the Australian man from his home. Schneider has been described as a senior member of the Hells Angels.|
Pattaya beach, Thailand.
|The Hell's Angels chapter openly runs a bar with adjoining private members rooms called Angel's Place in Pattaya, where a commemorative stone has been erected in Schneider's honour. Virtually all the chapter's members are Australians. |
Antonio Bagnato is a former Sydney bikie member of the Comancheros, and is believed to have masterminded the attack.
Blood and bullet casings, as well as paraphernalia used for making crystal meth, were found at the scene.
|The naked body of Schneider, 38, was found buried in a two-metre-deep grave in roadside bushes near Pattaya. His neck was reportedly broken. |
Two security guards working at the housing estate told police they'd been threatened by a man with a gun and were warned to stay away. The guards then heard Mr Schneider calling for help and told police they saw five men with scarves tied across their faces bashing the 38-year-old.
|Three other suspects involved in the murder are still on the run. Two of them are believed to have fled to Australia.|
American Tyler Gerard, 21, was arrested as he attempted to cross the Thai border
Truck used in Schneider's murder
Peter 'Skitzo' Hewat
|An associate of notorious Hells Angels bikie Peter "Skitzo" Hewat is being investigated over the shooting of a police facility in Melbourne. About seven shots were fired at the Victoria Police impound lot.|
A tow truck belonging to a company owned by Hewat – who is currently in jail – was impounded beforehand. It was seized after the driver was pulled over by police and tested positive for methamphetamine. The anti-bikie taskforce raided Hewat's company, 888 Towing. Two associates were arrested and three stolen cars were seized.
|Hewat was sentenced to 12 months' prison in March after he pleaded guilty to dealing in $250,000 worth of stolen truck parts. The court noted the sergeant-at-arms had been committing crimes for more than 40 years.|
One of his more infamous convictions was for assaulting a kind-hearted grandmother who had taken in Hewat's lost shih-tzu terrier. The woman had put out posters of the dog after she found it near Hewat's Craigieburn home in 2013. When Hewat claimed ownership, she demanded proof before she handed the dog over. Hewat forced his way through her front door and punched her when she blocked his way.
|In September 2015 a former employee of Hewat falsely confessed to stealing a vehicle because he was afraid of the Hells Angels boss. He claimed to owe $10,000 to Hewat and was terrified he would be shot if he didn’t make the false confession.|
|March 18, 2006. Members of the Finks and Hells Angels clash at a kickboxing tournament. Dubbed the "Ballroom Blitz", the bloody incident was sparked by the defection of one-time Fink and soon-to-be convicted murderer Christopher Wayne Hudson to the Hells Angels in a move that angered his former gangmates.|
Hudson, a former Gold Coast nightclub bouncer, “patched over” to the Angels some time in late 2004.
Christopher Hudson under attack during the infamous brawl between Hells Angels and Finks
|Hudson was shot in the back and jaw and other bikies were wounded during the brawl that involved fists, feet, bottles, chairs and weapons.|
Following the "Ballroom Blitz" Hudson became a heavy, daily user of amphetamines and crystal amphetamine. Hudson also started carrying a gun and admitted to paranoia thinking that someone was "coming to get him”.
Christopher Wayne Hudson
|With a fearsome reputation, Hudson was afforded VIP status at strip clubs. He received free drinks and mingled with the girls privately.|
It was Sunday June 17, 2007 and Hudson was riding an amphetamine-fuelled flying carpet. He exploded into a rage, fuelled by a caustic mix of booze and drugs. Hudson pulled up his sleeves and pointed to his tattoos and said: ‘Do you know who I am? I’m a Hells Angel!’ In front of shocked witnesses, Hudson grabbed his girlfriend by her hair, punched her in the face and threw her to the ground. As the stunned victim struggled to her knees, Hudson kicked her in the face.
|In a nearby underground carpark, Hudson forced another woman against a wall at gunpoint. 43-year-old father of three Brendan Keilar stopped to intervene while on his way to work. A passing Danish backpacker named Paul De Waard, 26, also stepped in to help. |
After emptying his gun into the men, Hudson fled. Keilar died while de Waard was very lucky to survive.
|Police quickly established Hudson’s identity and launched a massive manhunt. Police chief commissioner Christine Nixon sent a public message to the Hells Angels: “I would hope they would hand him over. I think this person’s clearly out of control.”|
On June 20, the Victorian president of the Hells Angels walked Hudson into Wallan police station in semi-rural Victoria. Hudson had an injured wrist wrapped in a sock. His bikie brothers had used a blow torch to remove a Hells Angels tattoo from his arm. In May 2008, Hudson pleaded guilty to the murder of Brendan Keilar and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 35 years before becoming eligible for parole.
|At one point more than half of Quebec's most wanted criminals were hiding in the Dominican Republic. Of the 10 people on the most wanted list, six were members of the Hells Angels who fled the province during a massive anti-biker police operation in 2009. The six of them are accused of a combined 22 murders.|
The bikers have everything they need in the Dominican Republic. They've even organized a chapter there. A biker gang by the name of Los Barracos in the Dominican city of Cabarete became an official chapter of the Hells Angels in 2009.
|The case of David "Wolf" Carroll illustrates the complexity of efforts to apprehend fugitives. In 2004, information led police to believe Carroll was living in Puerto Plata. When Dominican authorities arrived at the house he was renting, he had already fled. They had missed him by weeks.|
Criminals seek out the Dominican Republic for simple reasons. The cost of living is low and there is ample opportunity to take advantage of corruption. There is no bilateral extradition treaty between Canada and the Dominican Republic.