Fifty members of the Hells Angel went on trial Monday in Spain where they’re being accused of drug trafficking, prostitution, arms and human trafficking, extortion and violence, including murder.
First up as the trial began in Madrid on Monday was the gang’s former leader, Frank Hanebuth, who according to Spanish prosecutors, was in charge of directing the other gang members to carry out crimes in popular tourist spots, especially the resort island of Mallorca from 2009 to 2013.
Spanish prosecutors are seeking a 13-year prison sentence for Hanebuth, a German citizen, on charges of membership in a criminal organization, money laundering and illegal possession of firearms, according to a 150-page indictment. They’re also seeking a $4.5 million fine for the money laundering charge, reports Mallorcadiario.com.
Other leading members of the gang, noted the outlet, are facing charges of running a prostitution ring and drug trafficking and could face up to 38 years in prison.
Plastic Surgery And Cages For Women Forced Into Prostitution
The Spanish daily 20 Minutos reported that the indictment listed prostitution and trafficking women as one of the gang’s primary sources of income.
During the police investigations, three Czech women declared they were taken to Spain from Italy with the promise of working as restaurant hostesses. Once they arrived, they were picked up at the airport and taken to a private club where they were forced to have sex with clients. Some of the women testified that they were locked up in dog cages “as punishment” if they protested.
Prosecutors also said the women were subjected to cosmetic surgery to “make them more productive and obtain greater profits from the activities they carry out.”
The Hells Angels are also accused of creating a complex network of money laundering “through companies located in tax havens, where they send large amounts of cash through human couriers.”
The trial is expected to last several weeks.
The Hells Angels
The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC), founded in 1948 in California, has some 4000 members in 59 countries, making it the largest bikers club in the world. In the U.S. and Europe, the Hells Angels are considered an organized crime syndicate.
Photo: Encyclopedia Brittanica