Police have dropped their bid to have a motorcycle gang declared a criminal organisation. Source: News Limited
POLICE have dropped their bid to have the Finks motorcycle gang declared a criminal organisation, five months after it was made superfluous by the Newman Governments anti-gang laws.
The reasons for withdrawing the application, which legal sources suggest could have cost taxpayers as much as $750,000, have been suppressed in the Supreme Court.
The action had been shelved after new laws last October took the power to declare criminal organisations out of the courts' hands and into the Attorney-General's.
The same month the Finks officially dissolved and most of its members joined the local arm of US gang the Mongols.
Gold Coast woman Kerry Munro, a director of the company Pompano Pty Ltd which was named alongside the Finks Surfers Paradise chapter as a respondent, said it had been “a big waste of money”.
Ms Munro said she believed it was open to former Finks to pursue legal costs from police “but I don’t know what’s happening there because no one’s really poking up their heads”.
She and Pompano co-director Dennis Inch – a “retired” Fink – were “not going for costs, we’re just out of it, finished”.
Assistant Commissioner Mike Condon at the time of lodging the application in 2012, declined to explain Pompano’s relationship with the Finks.
Ms Munro said Pompano had been formed in 1986 to hold a rural property at Wongawallan for which some Finks members had put in money.
She claimed police pursued the company “simply because if things went their way, they could try and get this land from us”.
“It’s a big load of rot – especially on Pompano,” she said.
“They never ever knew the story of Pompano – it’s not an asset of the Finks and never has been. It’s been pursued simply because Dennis Inch and Ray Shipton were retired members – Ray for 18 years and Dennis for at least 10.”
Police had successfully defended the Criminal Organisation Act, introduced by the former Bligh government, from a challenge by the Finks in the High Court.
The police application claimed the purpose of the Finks was to “conspire to engage in serious criminal activity”, listing 47 members of the club and outlining criminal histories for 45 of them.
A declaration against the Finks would have stopped the club from recruiting but existing members would have been free to wear colours and meet at their clubhouse.
Anti-association laws and bans on working in industries such as security would apply only to select individuals against whom police would have to seek control orders in the courts.
Under the Newman Government laws, bikie gang members are automatically barred from gathering in public or at clubhouses, wearing their colours in licenced premises, and holding jobs in a wide range of industries.
A police spokesman said the action was withdrawn as a “result of the majority of the Finks Gold Coast Chapter disbanding”.
“The use of this legislation still remains a future option for investigators and could be considered as an operational strategy in conjunction with the recent legislative reforms enacted by the government in relation to criminal motorcycle gangs,” he said.