Bikie president’s chilling message: ‘Cops can’t do sh*t about us’
QUEENSLAND'S bikie busting laws have been rubbished as "bullshit'' in an explosive outburst from the president of the Gold Coast chapter of Satudarah, declaring the gang is stronger than ever.
Founded by Dutch and Moluccan members in the Netherlands in the early 1990s, Satudarah - meaning "One Blood'' in Indonesian - has spread worldwide and developed an international reputation as one of the most ruthless bikie gangs, quick to turn to violence.
The outlaw motorcycle club penetrated Australia in recent years, with its tentacles reaching into the Gold Coast where it is growing in numbers and influence.
The president of the Gold Coast chapter of Satudarah, who gave his name as "Salvatore'', contacted the Bulletin to put to bed talk from rivals, newspapers and social media that his club was at risk of fracturing.
He said recent stories of a split doing the rounds in Western Australia were wrong and the club had already "dealt" with outsiders trying to say they were part of the gang.
"There's been an article posted over in WA saying that the club has been split into two and they're going to war with each other. That's completely bullshit," Salvatore said.
"There's one united chapter in Perth."
He said the club had to deal with people wearing Satudarah gear bought online and portraying themselves as members while trying to recruit.
A police source told the Bulletin in September last year a bikie, who they claimed had bought Satudarah emblazoned clothes online, had done a burnout in front of the Springwood police station and comically crashed trying to make his escape.
"There's some people who are fakers and buying fake shirts online and trying to say they're the real deal and recruit," Salvatore said.
"We've put a stop to one of them already and anyone else that's caught wearing fake shit will be dealt with as well."
Asked what he meant by "dealt with'', Salvatore said: "They'll be spoken to … it'll be a friendly chat."
Salvatore said there were also untrue rumours circulating that Satudarah was full of "rats'', who ended up in the "boneyard" in prison.
"We've got a number of members in jail,'' he said.
"People are posting about Queensland members in protection in jail. That's all not true.
"Anyone who goes to the boneyard is not a member of Satudarah and if they go there they are kicked out immediately. If they go into protection they're kicked out full stop."
Police sources confirmed Satudarah had a strong membership in Queensland prisons and was recruiting hardened offenders serving time in jail.
Salvatore said the Coast chapter was growing in numbers but forced to go underground to escape arrest and prosecution for being in Satudarah - or any outlaw motorcycle gang - they had thrived, laughing off suggestions tough anti-bikie laws had pushed them out of Queensland.
"It's grown on the Coast. About a year ago when I took over, I pretty much kicked out nearly everyone that was in the chapter and just started it from scratch again. We are going good now, we've got good numbers all around,'' he said.
"Nah, it makes us laugh when we see that in the news (that the OMCGs have been run out of town). It's bullshit.
"Maybe if they took off the laws where people couldn't wear their colours and consort, they'd know exactly who's who and where they are.
"Pushing us underground allows us to expand and they can't do shit about it.
"Of course (we are growing), it's massive, yes.
"New members want to come in and be part of a brotherhood and a lot of them don't like police at the same time."
Asked about the claim that bikie Bronson "Lizard Man'' Ellery was recruiting for Satudarah before he killed himself and his partner Shelsea Schilling, Salvatore refused to comment, although acknowledged he knew Ellery.
"I'm not going to comment on that," he said.
He said Satudarah had a good relationship with two other clubs on the Coast and there was not much tension among the gangs here.
"No, not really (tension with other gangs), we've got a good friendship with two clubs here on the Coast. I'm not going to go into names or anything,'' he said.
"It's pretty good here."
Grilled about criminality and involvement in violent assaults and drug crime on the Gold Coast, Salvatore said there were a few bad eggs in any group.
"I get raided about every six months by Taskforce Maxima. It is what it is. I'm used to it now. They've never found anything,'' he said.
"It's more a club of brotherhood really. Not everyone is a criminal. You have that in any club, whether it's motorbikes, cars or whatever. There's always some people that commit crime, it doesn't mean everyone does it.
"We've had members over the years who have been done in drug stuff and have been kicked out or demoted if they were ranked."
He would not be drawn on how many members the club had on the Gold Coast or in jail, only saying it was significant.
Rather than a criminal outlaw, he said he saw himself as a family man, a fly in, fly out worker who just happened to love motorbikes and be part of a club that would let you join - as long as you don't ride a postie bike.
"They (Satudarah) are different from the rest, a bit unique. They don't discriminate against anyone, they take in all races, whereas other clubs are only specific to whites.
"I'm Italian, Slovenian and Cook Island.
"Most of us work proper jobs. I work fly in, fly out on gas pipelines. Some do, some don't (know I'm in Satudarah), I don't go just telling everyone about it.
"(You can ride) any bike as long as it's not a postie bike."
Salvatore said the group was forging its own identity here, growing in size and notoriety across the Gold Coast and Australia.
"We have a reputation overseas, yeah, but all the members in Australia are people from Australia, so we have our own reputation to build.
"We want to show everyone that we are different from the others. We're a brotherhood. It doesn't matter what your background is, if you want someone to ride with, then we're here.
"We're not going anywhere."
WHAT THE POLICE SAY
POLICE are adamant Satudarah is made up of violent criminals who are involved in the drug trade and quick to get physical.
Claims Satudarah is merely a motorcycle enthusiasts' group are scoffed at by police, with sources saying the gang would likely have more members in prison than on the streets.
It is a claim even the gang's Gold Coast president acknowledges, telling the Bulletin there were bad eggs in any group and even saying it had a large following in Queensland's prison system.
One source told the Bulletin they'd heard the claim members were just motorcycle enthusiasts for as long as they'd been a cop.
"Ha. Look, if these people were just going about their lives riding Harleys then we wouldn't even know their names, but I don't think we have things like a gang squad and Taskforce Maxima just for a laugh," the source said.
Another said Satudarah was allegedly tied up in drug and violent crime, but not at the high end of offending.
"Look, we're not talking masterminds. They're not making millions of dollars. It's drug crime, assaults, it's certainly not drug importation on a high level," the source said.
"There is a lot of recruiting in the jails for Satudarah, because that's where a lot of them are.
"They are linked to violent crimes - (but) we're not seeing anything like they've been involved in overseas, yet."
Detective Inspector Glenn Donaldson of the Major and Organised Crime Squad said police would be unrelenting in targeting bikie clubs.
"We are very aware of the club in terms of the extent of its membership and its involvement in criminal activity," Insp Donaldson said.
"This is evident by the high percentage of club members that are currently incarcerated or facing serious charges.
"Taskforce Maxima uses an intelligence-led proactive policing strategy to target all OMCGs including Satudarah and we will be unrelenting in our efforts to target them."
He said claims about membership numbers and the strength of the club were hard to track, but police were aware of bikies hopping between gangs as they pleased.
"Membership numbers fluctuate in terms of each club and what we have seen is people don't stay loyal to the same club like they used to.
"It's very common for people to be in one club and then six months later be attached to another club.
"This highlights that their loyalty is not to the club, but to the benefits it can give to them as an individual."
If you are aware of any criminal activity involving outlaw motorcycle gangs, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.