Wouldn't surprise me one little bit
Military probes links between soldiers, biker gangs
Last Updated Mon, 30 Aug 2004 20:03:00 EDT
MONTREAL - The Canadian military has launched a series of investigations into possible links between members of the armed forces and biker gangs such as Hells Angels.
Military police confirmed reports on Monday that a number of probes have been carried out, including one sparked by the theft of eight pairs of night vision goggles from CFB Valcartier near Quebec City last year.
Biker experts say criminal gangs have been trying to recruit soldiers because of their special training with explosives, guns and other equipment.
A former investigator with the Quebec provincial police said the force has been talking with military police since at least 1998 about connections between soldiers and biker gangs after names started popping up during investigations.
"There's some guys who do their service with the military police or do their training with the special force who've been hired or were on the program with the Hells Angels," Guy Ouellette said.
Military police admit they're concerned about the linkages because many soldiers have training on a variety of weapons systems and also have access to the equipment.
However, spokesman Capt. Mark Giles said cases of military personnel having unsavoury links are rare.
"In many cases it may just simply be a bumper sticker or other things that indicate there may be some sympathies in that direction," Giles said, adding that when situations do cause concern they're closely monitored.
The military said it can't prohibit soldiers from associating with bikers because doing so would infringe on their civil rights.