Accused bikies were 'helping woman leave toxic house'

19th August 2016 5:00 AM
Police arrested four men and one woman at an Ooralea address on Saturday. Police arrested four men and one woman at an Ooralea address on Saturday. Emily Smith

POLICE allege the president, an office holder and two members of an illegal gang flew from Sydney to Mackay, hired out a truck and a car and "rummaged through" a home, stealing items.

The men's lawyer said they were actually helping someone move out of a "toxic" home environment.

Four Sydney men - Tevita Vakeifanga Fangaloka, 33, Fatongia Alepini Hanisi, 40, Viliami Hafoka Iongi, 37, and Medhat Mankaryous, 34 - have applied for bail in Mackay Magistrates Court, charged under the Vicious Lawless Associate Disestablishment Act introduced in 2013.

They are allegedly members of the Lone Wolf outlaw motorcycle gang.

Sydney woman Veronica Lisa Harte, 34, was arrested with the men at Ooralea on Saturday but is not accused of being a gang member.

Defence solicitor Michael Ayache, who flew from Sydney, said the group maintained their innocence, and said there had been "lies" in the statements of the home occupants. He said there was a "lot more to this story".

Mr Ayache said there were four house occupants, one of whom was the niece of an accused. He said the niece hadn't given a police statement.

"The fourth had relayed a message to the auntie that she needed to get out of the house because drugs were being used in the house, it was a toxic environment, and she needed her auntie's help," he said.

Magistrate Damien Dwyer said there seemed to be a "reasonably strong" Crown case.

He told Prosecutor Sergeant Jakki Poustie there was insufficient evidence that the defendants were in an outlawed group.

"The only evidence I have that there's any ongoing connection with an outlaw organisation is you standing up and telling me so," he said. He adjourned the bail application to Wednesday, allowing the prosecution to gather evidence.

Harte is charged with possessing marijuana, entering a dwelling and robbery. Fangaloka and Mankaryous are accused of possessing marijuana, entering a dwelling and robbery under VLAD laws. Iongi and Hanisi are charged with entering a dwelling and robbery under VLAD laws.