The Judicial Police have today (21st May 2019) conducted searches in Lisbon and other parts of the country on resulting in the arrest of 17 people as part of a case that involves Hells Angels bikers, a police source told Lusa. Some 150 Judicial Police were involved in the operation. Those arrested are aged between 29 and 52 years.
In March last year, about 20 bikers of the Hells Angels group invaded a restaurant in Prior Velho, near Lisbon, to attack the Red & Gold group, created by Mário Machado. The two rival groups were involved in a fight inside the establishment, with knives, sticks, iron bars and other objects.
This episode of violence led the police to begin a nationwide operation and to hold, in July last year, the first 58 members of the motorcycle group Hells Angels in Portugal (which had one in Germany).
In March 2019, the court of Lisbon held six more members in custody, and in February decided to keep 23 other defendants in remand.
In total there are 38 in pre-trial detention of the 68 defendants (one of them in Germany).
The suspects are indicted of criminal association crimes, attempted first-degree homicide, theft, assault, possession of prohibited weapons and drug trafficking.
There have been Hells Angels groups in Portugal since at least 2002. In the US, where the organisation was founded in the 1940s with its members typically ride Harley-Davidson motorcycles, it has for several years been considered by the Department of Justice to be an organised crime syndicate.