One of New Zealand's most notorious gangs - with, as one media outlet calls "a history of child rape, kidnapping and public brawling" - is making a move into Australia.

The Mongrel Mob has dominated New Zealand's criminal scene since they sprouted up in 1962, the Daily Mail reports, "with its members often distinguishing themselves with facial tattoos and wearing red".

Now the gang are in Australia, recruiting for chapters in Perth, Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Darwin - sometimes sending members from New Zealand or interstate to make up the numbers.

In New Zealand, the gang has a long violent history, from brawling with Hells Angels during the 1970s to multiple rape charges in the 80s.

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The gang are apparently in Australia, recruiting for chapters in Perth, Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Darwin.
The gang are apparently in Australia, recruiting for chapters in Perth, Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Darwin.

One member, Sam Te Hei, was jailed after raping and murdering a 16-year-old girl in June 1987.

Just a year later, the Mongrel Mob kidnapped a woman and took her to a gang convention, where she was raped by more than 15 men, a New Zealand Government encyclopedia entry says.

In 2003, more than 40 members of one New Zealand-based chapter were arrested and charged with more than 70 offences, including methamphetamine distribution.

Seven years later, they launched a rehabilitation programme for methamphetamine addicts with the help of the Salvation Army.

Within three months of the Darwin chapter opening, police sources say they knew of four assaults directly linked to members.
Within three months of the Darwin chapter opening, police sources say they knew of four assaults directly linked to members.

Within three months of the Mongrel Mob's Darwin chapter opening, police sources told the NT News they knew of four assaults directly linked to members that had gone unreported.

They also claimed one incident was a brawl between a member of the Mongrel Mob and a member of the Hells Angels.

In Perth, police are actively looking to deport members of the Mongrel Mob who misbehave, keeping a close watch on those who have moved from New Zealand.

The move comes as New Zealand police launch a new squad in Tauranga, dedicated to grappling with organised crime, in particular Australian motorcycle gangs.

The Herald reported yesterday that members of the Comancheros and Bandidos have been seen riding in the Bay of Plenty region recently.

Police have warned the more sophisticated and ruthless Australian gangs, in particular the Comancheros, could radically change the landscape of the criminal underworld in New Zealand.

The possibility of these newer criminal players gaining a foothold in Tauranga comes after the Rebels, another Australian gang, and the Head Hunters established chapters in the city in recent years.