Police have raided a solicitor’s office and two Melbourne accounting firms as part of a money-laundering investigation targeting the Comancheros outlaw motorcycle gang.
Victorian and Federal officers arrested nine people, seven of whom are facing charges, in a search of 44 properties including gyms in Hallam, Carrum Downs and Mordialloc, tattoo parlours and brothels.
Detectives combed the law firm in South Melbourne and the accountants in Cranbourne and Eltham.
They seized motorcycles, drugs, cash, computers and alcohol estimated to be worth more than $1 million.
Five men aged between 29 and 60 and two women aged 22 and 76 have been charged with offences including false accounting, recklessly dealing with the proceeds of crime and drug possession.
None of them are members of the Comancheros.
The ABC understands that senior Comanchero Mick Murray is associated with a self-described “forensic accountant” who was one of those targeted in the raids.
Murray is in prison for offences that cannot be divulged for legal reasons.
Victoria Police Commander Cindy Millen said officers were trying to shut down the gang and target firms used as a money-laundering front for the Comancheros.
“This will be a significant blow to the Comancheros,” she said.
“The businesses that police have targeted are allegedly used as a front for organised crime activities and allegedly used in money-laundering activities.”
“This operation has targeted those people behind the scenes running the businesses on behalf of the Comancheros.”
Police said many people using gyms owned by gang members had no idea their fees were being used to fund organised crime, or that the businesses were unlicensed and uninsured.
“[Gangs] are getting smarter, but so are we,” Ms Millen said.