FRANKFURT, Sept 30 Citing a history of weapons
offences and violence, a German state banned two Frankfurt-based
chapters of the Hells Angels on Friday and confiscated their
"These gangs are not in any way made up only of harmless
motorbike riders," Hesse state interior minister Boris Rhein
said at a televised news conference.
"Many members are known to the police because of violent,
drug or weapon-related offences."
The interior ministry said it had the authority to ban clubs
when their aims or activities break the law.
A recent report from Germany's federal criminal office
showed that one in every 10 investigations into organised crime
was linked to a criminal gang of motorbike riders, the ministry
Rhein said the authorities were closely monitoring the
motorcycle gangs in Hesse and had others in their sights.
"We have a zero-tolerance strategy," he added.
The Hells Angels were formed in California nearly 60 years
ago and have chapters spread around the world. There have been
chapters in Germany since 1970.
(Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Michael Roddy)