THERE was the dancing pole atop the stage, the bar bulging with cartons of beer and spirits, the proud-as-punch flags promoting decades of loyalty, the customary pool table and dartboard, even a neatly-kept fireplace with the unique NFFN sign – an acronym for Nomads Forever Forever Nomads.
But not any more.
The Hunter Valley headquarters of the Nomads bikie gang was dismantled by police on Wednesday, at least the 10th bikie clubhouse across the Hunter to be ripped apart by members of the gangs squad’s Strike Force Raptor in just over two years using the once little-known Restricted Premises Act (1943).
The act was set up to shut down “disorderly houses” and has been used throughout the state to dismantle bikie clubhouses using licensing breaches.
The latest raid on the Muswellbrook premises followed several months of simmering tensions between some members of the Nomads and Finks bikie gangs across Newcastle and the Lower Hunter, including several tit-for-tat drive-by shootings.
It also included the poor attempt to firebomb the Hunter Valley Nomads headquarters just last week.
The Hunter had its own anti-bikie squad introduced at the start of the year after the feud turned physical last year between the warring factions after several Nomads members “patched over” to the Finks.
That anti-bikie squad had moved on before the shootings began late last month.
A police statement released on Wednesday said that officers had conducted searches for firearms, firearm parts, and ammunition, at 10 properties of bikie gang members subject to firearm prohibition orders in the past week.
The properties were at Kearsley, Cessnock, Branxton, Gillieston Heights, Marks Point, Cameron Park, Anna Bay, and the Metford property which was damaged in a drive-by shooting.
“Highly-visible and high impact operations like this are part of our ongoing strategies to target and disrupt the criminal activities of outlaw motorcycle gangs and their associates. “This will be complemented by a range of other overt and covert strategies led by the gangs squad,” Hunter Valley Superintendent Steven Clarke said.