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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Bandidos vs Hells Angels

The Bandidos Motorcycle Club has started a probationary chapter in the city of Sittard in the Netherlands. In the country where once the Hells Angels reigned supreme things have gotten pretty crowded in the past few years. The presence of the Bandidos is especially worrisome to police, though, as the two clubs have a bitter and violent rivalry in other parts of the world.

The Dutch Bandidos chapter is led by Harrie Ramakers, a man with a colorful and rich history in the Dutch outlaw biker scene. He was a full patch member of the Hells Angels’ Nomads chapter in Oirsbeek, which was disbanded after Ramakers and others, were indicted on charges that they murdered three of the chapter's members including their president. All men kept silent and were eventually acquitted.

After leaving the Hells Angels, Ramakers became a member of No Surrender MC, a new Dutch club that has been growing rapidly. But when Klaas Otto, the president of No Surrender, heard about a member of Ramakers' chapter who stole money from a disabled child he took away the chapter's colors.

The Bandidos MC had been making several inroads into the Netherlands. It had made several Dutch members on the down-low and the time was ripe for a strong chapter. This past Saturday, Bandidos MC officially announced they had started a probationary chapter in Sittard. Ramakers will be its leader. Infamous Scandinavian Bandidos member Brian Sandberg posted a photo of himself and Ramakers on his Facebook account to congratulate his new brother.

Before the public had even heard about the Bandidos’ arrival, its brand new president was already under attack. On the night of March 15, unknown assailants shot up his house in Nieuwstadt in the Dutch province of Limburg. Ramakers was not home at the time of the attack.

Around 100 Hells Angels from the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium invaded the city center of Sittard in a show of force and opposition against the Bandidos’ new Dutch chapter (video below). Things remained quiet during the biker club’s “protest” but it set the tone for things to come. Where the Dutch Hells Angels once were the premier motorcycle club in Western Europe they now face competition from various strong rivals. Among those an arch nemesis they have fought numerous times.

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