Norway moves to ban motorcycle club linked to violent crime

Norwegian police have moved to ban the Satudarah Motorcycle Club as the authorities believe the organisation has a predisposition to serious crime.

According to media reports, the Satudarah organization in Oslo consists of a core of 12 people. Photo by Yasamine June on Unsplash

Internationally, the club is often connected to drug dealing and organised crime. Authorities in Norway believe the perpetrators of a recent stabbing in Lillestrøm and a shooting in Oslo could be connected to the Satudarah MC (SMC).

The police now want to take Satudarah to court and ban them completely.

“We believe that the main purpose of Satudarah in Norway is to engage in crime,” Anders Rasch-Olsen, the head of the Special Operations Section (SO) in the Oslo Police District, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

In 2021, a new law was introduced that allows courts to ban criminal gangs. The Satudarah motorcycle club is the first organisation that the authorities want to use the law against.

“We now want to test this law for the first time. We believe it is the right tool for us to prevent expansion, further participation and recruitment into certain gangs,” Rasch-Olsen said.

Taking the case to court

State prosecutor Ingelin Hauge wants to take the case to court.

“We believe it’s a criminal gang,” she told NRK.

However, for it to be a criminal offence to participate in Satudarah activities, the association must first be banned. 

Lawyer Usama Ahmad has been asked to represent the club. Ahmad is the lawyer of a 38-year-old man who the police believe is the leader of the Satudarah MC in Oslo.

“He disagrees with the claims and believes this association is not illegal. He, therefore, wants to present counterevidence in court against a possible ban,” Ahmad said.

“We believe that the information the prosecutor’s office relies on is not corrected and up-to-date. He believes the association’s purpose is not linked to crime,” Ahmad added.

If the court decides to implement a ban, it will become illegal for the MC club to carry out its activities and recruit new members.

Fighting organised crime

The Special Operations Section in the Oslo police works on fighting organised crime in the capital. Together with other departments, they have led the investigation of the MC club in Norway.

In collaboration with several police districts, they have mapped members and supporters in the Oslo area and the crime they believe they have committed.

“Drug crime, violent crime, extortion and kidnapping. Things that create fear in society,” Rasch-Olsen noted.

According to media reports, the Satudarah organisation in Oslo consists of a core of 12 people.

In the Oslo police’s report “Trends in crime 2018-2021”, the police stated that the MC club was more characterised by crime, violence and the use of firearms than by motorcycle riding.

“We can safely say that the majority in the Oslo chapter has not shown any particular interest in motorcycles,” Rasch-Olsen said.

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Police in Oslo to target funding at areas at risk of serious crime

Oslo police have announced a new system that will see more measures targeted at areas more prone to crime.

Police in Oslo to target funding at areas at risk of serious crime

Six vulnerable zones have been identified by the police, the majority of them in the east of the Norwegian capital.

According to a report in the Norwegian newspaper Klassekampen, two of the zones are Grønland and Tøyen and four locations in the districts of Stovner, Alna and Søndre Nordstrand.

Police have selected these areas based on indicators such as low income, low education, short residence in Norway and households with a single parent. Police also considered the level of police activity in the area and existing intelligence on criminal networks in these areas.

“The police do not ignore the fact that more vulnerable areas will be uncovered as a result of good intelligence and analysis,” John Roger Lund, head of the east police unit, told Klassekampen.

A research group at the Police Academy in Oslo would also work on identifying new areas to which the police should target their attention.

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“Right now we are working on analysis of what may be exposed areas in Norway, based on similar analyses in Sweden and Denmark,” Manne Gerell, who researches crime and gang violence at the University of Malmö and the University of Oslo, said.

Research would also explore which crime prevention measures are the most effective for the police to pursue.