Armed police backed by the special commando unit known as Beredskapstroppen and police dogs raided the Oslo headquarters of the Hells Angels motorcycle club at Alnabru Wednesday. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that the police seized the property where Hells Angels Norway has its clubhouse.
Crime technicians were also along on the raid, which NRK reported involved “a large number” of police and commando forces at the scene.
“We seized the property following weapons seizures we made in February 2010 and January 2011,” Einar Aas, police inspector for the Oslo Police District, told NRK. “There were 15 weapons seized that were illegally stored on the property.”
Not rooted in tax claim
The raid and subsequent property seizure was believed to be the first time that authorities in Norway have launched such an operation against a motorcycle club in the country.
The police action was initially believed to be tied to unpaid tax claims against the Hells Angels, after Hells Angels spokesman Rune “Supern” Olsgaard told TV2 that the raid must have been rooted in a “misunderstanding” around a tax claim for NOK 1 million. The claim, Olsgaard said, arose after the club’s tax returns for the past 10 years had been audited.
An official at the local tax office Skatt Øst denied to NRK, however, that it had initiated the raid. The tax authorities did confirm, though, that they had “contributed” to the police operation.
The police raid was said to be “well planned” and “orderly.” There were several persons inside the club’s headquarters at Alnabru on Oslo’s east side when police arrived, and a police spokeswoman said they had left the locale. Both uniformed and plainclothes police were searching the clubhouse.
The raid follows the convictions earlier this year of eight persons tied to the Hells Angels who were charged with narcotics sale and trafficking. That case marked the first time that the convictions were based on Norway’s so-called “mafia paragraph” in the law and among the defendants was Ove Jørgensen Høyland, whom the court in Tromsø believed to be the president of the Hells Angels club in Oslo.