Six Hells Angels arrested in the Canary Islands for threats and coercion
The National Police have arrested six people in different locations in Tenerife for their involvement in crimes including belonging to a criminal organization, damages, serious threats, and coercion. The detainees are members of the Canary Islands division of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC).
The police investigation, conducted jointly by the General Information Commissioner and the Provincial Information Brigade of Tenerife, began three years ago when it was discovered that the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club intended to expand its influence to the island of Tenerife.
Recognizing the potential danger associated with the establishment of such gangs due to their ties to organized crime, as observed in the United States and various European countries, an extensive intelligence and investigative effort was initiated.
As a result, investigators determined that the Hells Angels considered Tenerife as their "territory," preventing rival motorcycle clubs from entering and requiring non-rival clubs to operate under their control.
This became evident when members of a legal motorcycle club, seeking to establish a branch on the island, faced coercion, serious threats, and substantial damage to their motorcycles and vehicles as retaliation, which was all attributed to the detainees.
The HAMC is an organization present in at least 62 countries with around 5,000 members, having been banned in neighbouring countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. It was established in Spain in 1997 and currently has a total of 17 divisions.
The expansion of the Hells Angels in Spain has been gradual, with an increasing number of members across the country, especially in recent years, targeting strategic points for organized crime, such as the Costa del Sol, the entire Levantine Coast, the Costa Brava, and the Canary Islands.
The operation carried out by the National Police is part of the European police forces' fight against the establishment of these "outlaw" motorcycle gangs linked to organized crime, led by Europol through the (AP) Monitor Project.
Various police operations have already been conducted against different chapters of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC) in Spain, for crimes including belonging to a criminal organization, drug trafficking, coercion, extortion, violent robbery, and illegal possession of weapons.
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