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Police raid Rebels Motorcycle Club’s temporary base in Christchurch

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The Rebels Motorcycle Club has set up a temporary base at a Christchurch home, after it was forced out of its old warehouse headquarters last month.

Police raided a property in Aranui on Wednesday and found furnishings from the old gang pad crammed into a bedroom.

They also seized a cut-down shotgun and a .22 rifle.

The Rebels' gang pad in Vagues Rd, Christchurch, before it was abandoned last month.

 

The Rebels' gang pad in Vagues Rd, Christchurch, before it was abandoned last month.

 

Two members of the Rebels were at the property.

READ MORE: Rebels Motorcycle Club quits Christchurch headquarters

A 22-year-old man was charged with possession of drug utensils and unlawful possession of firearms.

In a separate raid on the same day, police found a sophisticated indoor cannabis growing operation at a property in Fitzgerald Ave.

A 56-year-old man was charged in relation to the cultivation of cannabis and possession of a restricted weapon.

In March, police set up a taskforce to target gangs and high-profile criminals in Canterbury.

The group has raided 175 properties, recovered 87 illegal guns and restrained more than $5 million worth of assets.

"Increasingly we are discovering firearms and other weapons at these addresses and that is extremely concerning," Canterbury district prevention manager Inspector Corrie Parnell said.

"We will be relentless in our hardline on any organised criminal group."

Last month, the Rebels abandoned its headquarters in Vagues Rd, Harewood, where it previously hosted a national gathering of members.

At the time, police said the gang had been a long-time problem in the city and their departure was the result of "our interventions".

"Every time we've had a sniff they are committing crime we've been round there to resolve it. If they regroup anywhere else we'll be round there as well," Detective Inspector Darryl Sweeney said.

Police raided the Vagues Rd headquarters several times earlier this year – seizing stolen property, several guns, cash, methamphetamine and cannabis.

There were simmering tensions between the Rebels and rival gang the Head Hunters, which moved into the city several years ago and set up a headquarters in Sockburn last year.

A senior member of the Head Hunters, Lyndon Richardson, 43, was charged with receiving stolen goods after a raid at the Sockburn property on Thursday.

In 2011, it was announced that the Rebels, one of Australia's largest gangs, had moved into New Zealand, and quickly spread throughout the country.

Members previously frequented a pad on Racecourse Rd, Christchurch, but were forced out because of insurance issues. It is understood the Rebels' two Christchurch chapters merged last year.

In September, police raided the Vagues Rd pad after $1 million of methamphetamine was found in a car leaving the Picton ferry terminal.

 

Writer: BLAIR ENSOR
Source: stuff.co.nz
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