TENERIFE – The Policia Nacional have detained six individuals associated with the self-proclaimed Canary Islands chapter of the notorious Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC).
The arrests, made at various locations on the island of Tenerife, were carried out on charges of alleged involvement in organised crime, damages, serious threats, and coercion. The detainees are affiliated with the Canary Islands chapter, linked to the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.
The joint investigation conducted by the General Information Commissioner and the Provincial Information Brigade in Tenerife began three years ago. The authorities became aware that the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club had intentions to expand its influence to Tenerife. Due to the potential danger posed by the establishment of these gangs, an intensive intelligence and investigative effort was initiated.
As a result of this investigation, it was revealed that the Hells Angels aimed to claim dominance over Tenerife. Moreover, they planned to prevent rival motorcycle clubs from entering their territory and subjecting non-rival clubs to their control. This became evident when members of a legal motorcycle gang, seeking to establish a presence on the island, faced coercion, severe threats, and extensive damages to their motorcycles and vehicles. These actions were perceived as retaliation for attempting to establish themselves and were directly attributed to the arrested individuals.
With a presence in 62 countries and approximately 5,000 members, the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club is an international organisation. It has faced legal prohibitions in neighbouring countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. Established in Spain in 1997, the club currently boasts 17 chapters across the country.
Hells Angels expansion
However, their expansion in Spain has been gradual, with a notable increase in chapters in recent years. They mainly focused on key geographical areas known for organised crime, including the following locations;
- Costa del Sol
- The entire Levantine Coast
- Costa Brava
- Canary Islands
The operation conducted by the Policia Nacional aligns with the broader efforts of European law enforcement, led by Europol through the (AP) Monitor Project, to combat the establishment of outlaw motorcycle gangs linked to organised crime. In Spain, several police operations have targeted various chapters of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club for offenses such as organised crime, drug trafficking, coercion, extortion, violent robbery, and illegal possession of weapons.