THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch police detained 20 people Wednesday, most of them members of the Bandidos motorcycle gang, in coordinated raids that spread into neighboring Belgium and Germany.
The cross-border operation involved riot police, specialist arrest squads and a police helicopter. They targeted 30 locations in the southern provinces of Limburg and Brabant. Searches of the properties were expected to last throughout the day.
Police and prosecutors said in statements that members of motorcycle gangs are "heavily involved in criminal ... activity in the areas of weapons, drugs and intimidation."
Dutch Justice Minister Ard van der Steur visited Limburg province on Monday to discuss a recent rise in violence blamed on rival motorcycle gangs in the province.
Members of the Bandidos gang were involved in a shootout earlier this month in Waco, Texas, that left nine people dead. U.S. authorities said the shooting began during an apparent confrontation between the Bandidos and the rival Cossacks gang.
There was no indication that Wednesday's raids in the Netherlands were linked to the Texas shootings.
Police said they uncovered a suspected drugs laboratory during their searches, but released no details.