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Swedish biker gangs in expansion fast lane

TT/The Local · 8 Oct 2010, 16:55

Published: 08 Oct 2010 16:55 GMT+02:00

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Bandidos, Hells Angels and other criminal biker gangs that are already established in Sweden are becoming more firmly entrenched in Europe as the creation of new gangs accelerates in the country.

While many criminal motorcycle gangs are already well-established in Sweden, a new wave of expansion is underway, driven by growth within the Hells Angels, Bandidos and Outlaws.

"In the last three years, Hells Angels has started five new divisions in Eskilstuna, Norrköping, Luleå, Uppsala and a new division in Stockholm. Previously, it took them 10 years to start up so many new divisions, so the curve has risen steeply," said Lasse Wierup, a journalist, author and expert on motorcycle gangs told the TT news agency.

Part of the reason is that a new international motorcycle club, the Outlaws, has established itself in Sweden. For example, HA's new division in Uppsala was a response to the Outlaws' establishment there.

Wierup estimates that there are 300 to 400 full members of motorcycle clubs and as many supporters who live by what Wierup calls the "one-percenter culture".

What sets the so-called "one-percenters" apart is their desire to isolate themselves from society and live by their own rules and laws, wherein which 99 percent of motorcyclists are law-abiding citizens.

"Expansion builds up the one-percenter culture," said Wierup.

Hells Angels is the largest motorcycle club in Sweden boasting 12 divisions. The Swedish Hells Angles have also recently overtaken the number of Danish divisions.

"They are the most organized, have the best discipline and the lowest member turnover. They also dedicate themselves to the most sophisticated crimes that bring in the most money, hire illegal workers in the construction industry and engage in drug trafficking, money laundering and extortion," Wierup said.

Bandidos has eight or nine divisions, engages in the most violent crime and does not bring in a lot of money. Newcomer the Outlaws, with a handful of divisions, consists mainly of "ordinary family men" and do not yet pose any criminal problems, according to Wierup.

Police reaction suggests that it has been easiest to intervene against violent criminals within Bandidos. Hells Angels is more vigilant and the most difficult to combat.

"The police have begun to cooperate with other authorities such as the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) and the Swedish Enforcement Administration (Kronofogden) and that has made life tougher for gang members. It also protects the extortion victims more now than before. However they should perhaps work more pro-actively [in prevention]," said Wierup.

In Europe, biker gang expansion is taking place mainly in eastern Europe and Turkey.

Story continues below…

According to European police organisation Europol, there are now more criminal motorcycle gangs in Europe, with 425 subdivisions, than in the United States, which have about 300.

In the last five years, 120 new subdivisions have launched in Europe.

In addition, European motorcycle gangs have also become larger than those in than North America, where biker gang culture originated.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

18:11 October 8, 2010 by james_g
What else can you expect of people who favour those 'orrible ugly underpowered 'arleys...?
18:52 October 8, 2010 by Rebel
Swedish biker gangs???? You mean there are Swedish men with testosterone?
18:53 October 8, 2010 by asian369
Send these clowns to Afghanistan.
19:34 October 8, 2010 by hjoian
not exactly hard to spot......easy to identify individuals one by one, let skattsverket drive em crazy....
19:40 October 8, 2010 by omphus
Perhaps a way around being considered an outlaw gang is if they identify their club charter as the koran or recruit some asylum seekers
20:01 October 8, 2010 by Tennessee Thunder
Try M-14 in L.A,,,,,,Swedish hells angels,,you,ve got to kidding.
21:59 October 8, 2010 by Cartel Malone
Assuming all "outlaw" bikers are criminals is as naive as thinking all muslims are terrorists, all police are clean, and all these swedish girls hair is natural. They are a group of guys that like to party and ride their bikes with each other. While some of the members may be involved in some illicit activities that is their business, and not the clubs. We could all learn something about sticking up for your brother from the Angels. Support your local Hells Angels
22:02 October 8, 2010 by flintis
Riding around om grandma's arley, sum people got no taste or class.
22:09 October 8, 2010 by inmylife
Tennessee Thunder

Nobody in Europe cares about your weak and pathetic gangs. They are all cowards, as are these biker gangs. Anybody could shoot someone. Real men fight with their fists. Typical stupid American, always comes on the internet and goes on about how "hard" the gangs in LA are, pitiful.
22:53 October 8, 2010 by Tdye
@ inmylife you are an idiot for starters..and what country are you from? the fact that you said "real men fight with their fists.. tells me you are either a britt ( cause guns are outlawed there..or you are just a chump running off at the lip

next.. im pretty sure Tennessee Thunder isn`t an American for the simple fact that he/she has no idea whey he/she is talking about..there isnt any such gang called M-14..that is a gun..what they should have said was MS13 which is a bunch of immigrant Mexicans that should be shot on site..not to mention americans dont write you've like you,ve

@ james_g and flintis what exactly is an 'arley? and 'orrible?..English was YOUR language.. you should try to speak it right

oh yeah.. exactly what kind of Motorcycle does England make? what you like BMW motorcycles?yeah the sissys like those here..real men ride Hailey's..and young boys trying to make up for "small parts" drives jap motorcycles
00:02 October 9, 2010 by JHD
The simple fact is that no one in Sweden can look cool on a motorcycle because of all the required protective clothing.
00:27 October 9, 2010 by Swedesmith
Why is a fat girl like a moped?

No man wants to be seen by his friends riding one.
05:47 October 9, 2010 by whatnowki
"And then a parade of bikers swooped by my house and threw a bunch of mini meatballs onto my front yard..."

I was really scared.
07:05 October 9, 2010 by Carnitas

Typical Brit. Talking smack about Americans while Muslims overtake his country. Pathetic.
09:28 October 9, 2010 by jaysea32
These gangs are all cancers within a good society. They should be dealt with early on, else they'll cause many problems as they become more brazen. You can rely on that. They claim to not be destructive, but that's a facade.
10:16 October 9, 2010 by Carnitas
The Hell's Angels, Bandidos, etc. are nothing to worry about. How often do they actually commit violent acts against the civilian population? Please. Sweden has FAR more important problems with a different group who commit violent acts everyday in this country.
11:00 October 9, 2010 by Jarvilainennen

It ain´t a HAILEY, This is the way you say it:

15:59 October 9, 2010 by texray
Same as in the US, the press and government concentrate on the white guys with the big signs on their backs and ignore the third-world narco criminals that are destroying western society.
16:08 October 9, 2010 by hjoian
having witnessed a good old biker gang punch up, with the favourite tools being chains, axe, crowbars, and more impressivly a chain-saw......i dont think our so called American friend can call the Brits a bunch of pussies. Pulling a trigger is easy, taking a sledgehammer to someones skull requires a good eye and a carefull swing for the desired effect. Harley D fine for 55mph and straight roads, crap for everything else, why it seems everyone in Sweden aspires to own one is beyond me. Yes i rode jap crap, everyday, and rode an average of 100,000 miles a year....a Harley would not have withstood it, they are/were unreliable, and a status symbol for people with no sense and bigger egos. Not all bikers,and biker gangs are criminals, and even Hells Angels England is more involved in legitamate buisness these days. A lot of this article is BS and scaremongering.
17:45 October 9, 2010 by mojofat
Saying all Hell's Angels aren't criminal thugs is like saying all cancer isn't malignant. While technically true, you sure don't want it around.
20:23 October 9, 2010 by ww77ww
My time in North America had me observe that most Harleys were for fat middle aged guys who work in office towers on weekdays, have nagging wives who drive SUVs, and they hang out at the sales agent in a few thousands of dollars of comical black leather gear on weekends. How different can it be in Sweden?
21:50 October 9, 2010 by Jarvilainennen
There´s something more important to take care about allright:


You know who gets it done.
22:56 October 9, 2010 by Sam1
no no, They are no Swedish SD says only other cultures have gangs, I think these guys are invandrare wearing lenses and masks, and maybe coloured their hair!!!

These guys are from Somalia mostly
04:41 October 10, 2010 by Typical Whitey
I agree with Rebel. There are real men in Sweden? Sadly you have lost your Viking heritage and allowed moslems to take over the country and unleash crime upon your society. You are as wimpy as The Kenyan - metrosexual pussies.
16:21 October 10, 2010 by Tdye
@ Jarvilainennen yeah i know how to say it i am American.. i didnt hit the "R" button

did you really waist your time writing that because you dont understand typos?
17:06 October 10, 2010 by J Jack
I don't like the way The Local defines these groups as 'Criminal Motorcycle Gangs' without any explanation. All MC clubs derive from a criminal culture, but so does Rock 'n' Roll and Pizza. Duh!
03:04 October 11, 2010 by Jarvilainennen
Tdye: whatsa matter you ain´t got no sense of humour man?

Or is it a tliumpf?
10:22 October 11, 2010 by Bob Jacobson
Fascinating. The biker gangs in the US are in decline, but they're growing in Sweden -- all 400? This is worthy of note only because other crime in Sweden is so infrequent, the bikers' efforts stand out. It's true that riders' clubs are proliferating, but in the US, at least, most of these clubs -- besides riding loud hogs -- do public service like helping families of veterans returning from war and taking gifts to kids. Their violence is mostly restricted to barroom brawls, and not even that much anymore. The Swedish varieties of Hells' Angels and Outlaws are a fantasy in pursuit of a memory. Sad.
12:28 October 11, 2010 by flintis
@Tdye #10 What bikes do they make in England?? If my memory serves me right then they still make Triumph, I ride one.(which came b4 HD & is still better).

HD's are called GUBBHOJ in Sweden = old mans bike, really means for men that ride like women.

I do like BMW's quality would choose BMW over HD's because 1 the quality is 1st class (unlike HD) & they are value for money (again unlike HD)

When comparing the quality of mc's HD comes below the Indian made Royal Enfield, speaks for itself doesn't it, see more HDs broken down at the side of the road than any other bike. Overrated, overpriced.
23:23 October 11, 2010 by Tdye
@ flintis

if im not mistaken...and im not.. the real Triumph motorcycles went bankrupt in the 1980s..some other company just took the name over so that is invalid..Triumph was a gem to own here in America..well let me say the old ones like 1930-60's the new ones are crap..as a matter of fact Europe hasnt put out a motorcycle that has surpassed HD in..well forever.. is it any wonder that HD is still here and going strong? is it any wonder that all of Europes motor cycles are either newer than HD and/ or bankrupt now?..if you want to be technical Honda and Kawasaki are the best bikes out there..neither of which in made in out country's : )

i have never even heard of the Royal Enfield so i cant make a comment on that but i can say that no one here rides one.. THAT says a lot..i dont disagree that HD is over priced..they are.. but in the same breath supply equals demand m i right? HD are high in demand because of their looks,power,and quallity..have you ever seen the show American chopper? those bikes are upwards of $100,000 + and people pay for them.. not much you can do with a ninja or a bmw is there?..Bikers are a way of life..bikers prefer the raw power of the Harley

HD could eaisly build a motorcycle that is as fast as the Ninja's and BMW's..and as a matter of fact they do.. however HD is a legend in the motor cycle world.. like it or not they are

im not sure where you have seen many HD's on the side of the road..maybe they just have old bikes that they never put any work in to it.. but in the same breath..I have seen American furniture with way better quality than Ikea..sure they are world famous.. they are the biggest furniture warehouse retailer in the world.. but their furniture is a joke here in America..just goes to show you that not all of what is famous in the world is world accepted..sure people buy Ikea here as do Swedes buy HD..doesn't mean they are better than anything
07:12 October 12, 2010 by flintis
@tyde: No they were not old bikes, one of them belonged to a friend & was 3 mths old. Overrated overpriced & unreliable.

Quality & HD, don't make me laugh

Only as fast as the Ninja not got high expectations for HD then, & they will Never, Never equal BMWs quality, they were not even half as good as the Indian.
06:33 October 13, 2010 by Tdye
well that can depending on which country you are in here in America HD are kings..in the Uk maybe it is Triumph, china its Honda and Iraq its camels..so
07:47 October 13, 2010 by flintis
@Tyde:in Siberia they have snow

HD quality is not country dependent, same crap where ever you buy it!
00:22 October 14, 2010 by Tdye
@ flintis

oh.. too bad america doesnt have snow...no wait we have snow too

HD is top dog in America it is country dependent.. you are buying HD's that are not american made.. you are buying crap second rate junk.. here in America HD is top quality..i know i am an American

read this and enjoy the read

09:55 October 15, 2010 by Alf Garnett
@flintis & Tdye,

Quality is not something commonly associated with motor vehicles in the US (apart from Honda), the HD's sold in Sweden & the UK are supplied with the documents certifying the machine is built in the USofA.

Apart from the nostalgia, I have to agree with flintis, the Indian was a superior motorcycle to HD & surpassed only by the Brough Superior & Sunbeam.
08:28 October 18, 2010 by Tdye
i never said that the cars and trucks were great..they suck.. however in America HD is king.. im not sure if you are an American or not but HD is king of the road here..followed by Honda and the likes..a quick search on the annual percentages of these company's in the motorcycle area will show that HD is ahead

the simple fact that these companys that you and the others keep listing as being "better" than HD are all bankrupt and/ or are not in existence any longer says to me that Harley Davidson is a better motor cycle and a better company

oh and the fact that the the median household income for riders of HD's is around $83,000 so this shows me that even the people that can afford BMW's and what have you prefer HD's..personally.. i could care less about a motorcycle but the fact remains..Americans prefer HD over any other motorcycle but like you, everyone has their preference of what they like..so there really isnt any argument to be won here.. you prefer Indians most Americans prefer HD's
22:56 November 17, 2010 by mark jennings
What is it about Americans - put a sticker of their flag on any piece of crap and they will buy it without even thinking of any alternatives from elsewhere.

People often buy a HD just because of the name on the tank, a "designer label bike for the brainless".

If a better product was offerd to them for less money they still would,nt buy it.

Buy one or do,nt buy one but do,nt tell us it,s a better product when you obviously have very limited product knowledge.

HD "quality" is patchey at the best of times, some of the other people on here actually do have valid points but I suggest you think yours through before you come up with HD is a better motorcycle - it simply is not.
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