Strike Force Alistair arrests 18 in dawn raids
A NUMBER of high-ranking members of the Comanchero and Hells Angels bikie gangs were among 18 people arrested during dawn raids in New South Wales on Tuesday.
Hundreds of police officers from the State Crime Command, local area commands and specialist units swooped on properties in Sydney, the Illawarra and Port Stephens just after 6am.
The raids were part of Strike Force Alistair's long-running investigation into the supply of firearms and drugs to organised crime groups, including outlaw motorcycle gangs.
Strike Force Alistair was established by the NSW Police Force Organised Crime Squad and the NSW Crime Commission almost two years ago. The gangs squad has also been assisting.
Police said they expected to lay charges for commercial drug supply, drug importation, firearms supply and participating in a criminal group.
Prior to Tuesday's raid investigators had already seized illegal drugs worth $6 million, numerous pistols and rifles, a machine gun, a hand grenade, explosives, and more than $500 million in counterfeit cash.
NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said Strike Force Alistair had already disrupted "a number of illegal supply chains".
"This will reduce the availability of guns and drugs to those organised criminal groups," Comm Scipione said.
"Strike Force Alistair demonstrates what can be done when we work together to combat organised crime and outlaw motorcycle gangs."