Bikies flaunt colours on Tinder
BIKIES are brazenly flaunting their colours on Tinder in an attempt to woo potential partners, but they may be getting more than they bargained for.
Police intelligence officers are trawling Tinder and other social media platforms to identify bikies in the ongoing war against outlawed gangs.
A bikie source says the gang members are lulling women into a false sense of security before getting them to sell drugs - or themselves - for the clubs.
After the introduction in 2013 of the tough Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment laws that forced bikies underground, police have had to become more creative in the way they identify who is in the gangs, with bikies no longer allowed to wear their colours in public. This still applies, even though the VLAD laws were replaced with new legislation in late 2016.
The Bulletin has found members of the Mongols and Odin's Warriors looking for love on Tinder across the Gold Coast and northern NSW.
Posing with other members of the gangs in what look like clubhouses, or with their motorbikes, the would-be suitors appear to be using the fact that they are bikies as a way to attract potential "right swipes'' on the dating app.
A police source said intelligence officers were aware of the bikies and actively searched through Tinder to find information on the gangs.
"We have a range of covert strategies to catch these people … Tinder is definitely one of the platforms we use," the source said.
Another police source said they had become adept at tracking down bikies on social media, so much so that the gangs had demanded members shut down their accounts.
"As soon as a bikie appeared on Tinder (in their colours), we'd be on their doorstep," the police source said.
"If you (an OMCG member) put anything on there, you could expect a flogging by the sergeant-at-arms."
A bikie source said Tinder was used by gangs to entice young Gold Coast women, before they were recruited for the drug trade and sex trafficking.
Bikies would not target minors, but focused on attractive young Coast women aged between 18 and 24. The oldest female recruit was 27.
"They use Tinder for sex trafficking," the source said. "They especially hit Tinder before the music festivals here and Schoolies. They meet these girls first for a coffee. They get the girls into drug addiction, then they get them into drug rings.
"It works this way. A guy will present himself on Tinder. He's big, all buffed up, steroid bloke. They get them in two days. They have them on drugs. They say 'you owe us'. If they don't pay, they get smashed in the face. Or they tell them 'we will kill your family'. They get very scared. It's not complicated.
"They need good-looking girls. They need girls who will attract money. They use them to sell drugs. You will see them all dressed up at a shopping centre.
"But 150m away are two tough-looking blokes.
"This all starts out with a young girl looking for the love of her life. Queensland is the worst for this. And the Gold Coast is a money maker.
"The girls use ice - not the bikies, they use other drugs - and that's why we have an ice epidemic here."
Detective Inspector Glenn Donaldson of the Major and Organised Crime Squad said police were on the pulse of the social media movements of bikies while warning women on Tinder to stay away from members of the gangs.
"We monitor a range of online and social media platforms in our intelligence-led approach to the policing of outlaw motorcycle gangs," he said.
With the risk of violence and criminality, women needed to think carefully before accepting a date on a social media platform with a gang member.
"This is not a relationship that will end well," he said.