Finks and Comanchero Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs targeted as part of national days of action

Police across Australia have arrested 25 people, executed 12 search warrants and 22 FPO searches and seized approximately $200,000 in cash and firearms targeting the Comanchero and Finks Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs.

The national days of action were a collaborative effort targeting criminality linked to the Finks and Comanchero Outlaw Motorcycle Gang (OMCG).

In Victoria, this operation formed part of the ongoing investigation by Taskforce Lunar into organised crime syndicates, including the Finks OMCG, linked to illicit tobacco.

Operational activity was also conducted in New South Wales, Western Australia, Queensland, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.

Yesterday, detectives from the Echo Taskforce served three Firearm Prohibition Orders (FPO) on patched Finks OMCG members, seizing 200 vials of steroids during a search at a Glen Waverley address.

A 36-year-old Glen Waverley man was charged with drug offences and bailed to appear at Ringwood Magistrates’ Court on 21 May, 2024.

Compliance searches were conducted on Finks OMCG FPO holders in Berwick, Southbank, Ascot Vale, Metung, Lucknow and Ringwood.

A small quantity of cocaine and steroids were seized from the Southbank address, while cannabis and knuckle dusters were seized from the Lucknow property.

A 35-year-old Southbank man was charged with drug offences, commit indictable offence whilst on bail and contravening a conduct condition whilst on bail.

He was remanded in custody to appear at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 8 February, 2024.

A 24-year-old Lucknow man was charged with drug and weapons offences and bailed to appear at Bairnsdale Magistrates’ Court on 17 April, 2024.

Search warrants were also executed at premises in Chelsea Heights and Churchill linked to the Comanchero OMCG, with police locating three firearms.

A 41-year-old Churchill man, who is a patched member of the Comanchero OMCG, was charged with prohibited person possess firearm and remanded in custody to face Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 19 December.

A 46-year-old Chelsea Heights man is expected to be charged on summons in relation to a rifle and shotgun found at his address.

The VIPER Taskforce yesterday conducted six searches of tobacco stores in the west of the state including Horsham, Stawell, Ararat, Warracknabeal and Nhill.

A total of seven people were arrested, and police subsequently seized more than 134,000 illicit cigarettes, 43kg of loose tobacco and 3655 vapes from the businesses, believed to be valued at over $350,000 in total.

A conducted energy device and baton were also seized.

This included a 40-year-old Williamstown man who police will allege was delivering illicit tobacco to a Horsham store that day.

His vehicle was then searched and illicit tobacco, e-cigarettes and $40,000 cash was seized.

He was interviewed and is expected to be charged on summons.

As part of Taskforce Lunar’s investigation, the VIPER Taskforce has conducted over 60 searches of tobacco stores across the state since the beginning of October.

At this time, Taskforce Lunar investigators believe the current situation is as a result of criminal syndicates in conflict due to competition for profit derived from the illicit tobacco market.

Police believe the syndicates are comprised of personnel from Middle Eastern Organised Crime groups and Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs, including the Finks OMCG.

The current conflict includes both the physical placement of illicit tobacco into stores, as well as demands for stores to sell the syndicate’s illicit product and to pay a ‘tax’ per week to operate.

This dispute has led to a series of over 30 incidents over the past eight months, predominantly arsons or attempted arsons predominantly linked to tobacco stores in both metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

On the majority of occasions, no one was present at the business when it was set on fire however almost all of the fires caused significant damage.

Luckily, no one was physically injured during the fires with the exception of several offenders who have set themselves alight.

Four patched members of the Finks OMCG were also charged in June with a range of offences in relation to an alleged extortion of a business owner in Eltham.

A significant investigation into the series is underway with Taskforce Lunar drawing on a range of specialised resources from the Gang Crime Squad, Arson and Explosives Squad, Echo Taskforce, VIPER Taskforce, Criminal Proceeds Squad and Financial Crime Squad.

The taskforce is also working closely with regional police, as well as a range of external agencies such as the Illicit Tobacco Taskforce, the ABF, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), AFP and ATO.

Investigators continue to appeal to anyone, especially store owners and staff, who has information about these incidents and who is responsible to come forward.

Anyone with information about these incidents or with further information about illicit tobacco is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at

Quotes attributable to Acting Commander Jason Kelly, Crime Command:

“There has been an immense focus on illicit tobacco and associated offending here in Victoria, particularly in relation to the reckless and dangerous arson attacks and firearms related violence.

“We created Taskforce Lunar to lead that investigation and they have been working closely with a number of specialist units as well as regional police.

“The operation this week has been about putting pressure on those organised crime groups we know are linked to illicit tobacco, no matter what state they are in or what part of the state they are in. Regional areas are certainly not immune to this type of offending and those committing these offences in rural locations will absolutely face the same scrutiny.

“We are still seeing these arson attacks occur and tobacco stores involved in the selling of illegal product, despite the significant publicity this investigation has received.

“Again, I want to be clear that police will continue to do everything we can to target those criminal syndicates involved and those who are choosing to benefit from fear and harm to the community.

“We will continue to conduct these operations across Victoria and also work closely with other states to disrupt this criminal activity and hold those involved to account.”

Information and quotes re NSW Police activity:

Police from the New South Wales Police, State Crime Command’s Raptor Squad executed five Firearm Prohibition Order (FPO) compliance checks of alleged Finks members across Mascot, Peakhurst, Bossley Park and Kellyville, where they seized prohibited drugs and a prohibited weapon.

Detective Acting Superintendent Adam Powderly said the NSWPF have extensive capabilities to disrupt OMCG activity and continue to work closely with law enforcement counterparts to do so.

“This day of action highlights the strong collaboration between our jurisdictions in targeting the criminal activities of OMCG and their alleged members.

“OMCGs are not confined to one particular city or state, and illegal behaviour by OMCGs will not be tolerated in the city, in the country, or across the border,” Det A/Supt Powderly said.

“Raptor Squad will continue working closely with counterpart agencies in coordinated, cross-border operations to disrupt any illegal OMCG activity and ultimately prevent any harm to the community.”

/Public Release. View in full here.