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Vic anti-bikie squad funded until 2019

AAP logoAAP 2/08/2016 By Helen Velissaris

The Victorian arm of a national anti-gangs squad that helped shut down the Comancheros in Mildura and caught bikie Toby Mitchell importing drugs will be funded until 2019.

The federal government has given $3 million to the Victorian National Anti-Gang Squad after it arrested 150 people and seized 120 firearms and $7.5 million worth of drugs since 2013.

Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan says the squad is successfully fighting organised crime and criminals that profit from "the misery of drugs" but he wouldn't commit to funding the squad past 2019.

"We've had great success (and) this is going to make sure these squads are operational until then," the minister told reporters on Tuesday.

"Decisions about future resourcing will obviously need to be taken in the future."

Sharing intelligence with Australian Federal Police has helped Victoria Police target some of the state's most notorious criminals including former Bandidos enforcer Mitchell.

The National Anti-Gang Squad also helped decimate the Comancheros' presence in regional Victoria.

"Our staff were able to dismantle a whole chapter of the Comancheros and they've basically left town now and we're restoring community calm to the Mildura community," Commander Cindy Millen said on Tuesday.

Currently five AFP officers, two Victoria Police officers and one Australian tax officer make up the Victorian arm of the squad.

Mr Keenan says about 38 active bikie gangs exist in Australia with 4000 members and more than 3000 associates.

Most exist with the help of international criminal syndicates.

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