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Police raids on Hells Angels in Ontario,169 charges,31 arrests

A police raid on the Hells Angels has led to 31 arrests and 169 charges related to drugs and weapons in Ontario.

The arrests were made in a series of raids throughout the province Wednesday during a joint operation that also targeted biker clubhouses in the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and British Columbia.

Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino said Thursday the arrests send a message to bikers that "they can run, but they can't hide."

Police say the 18-month investigation, dubbed Project Develop, involved a Hells Angels informant.

"They were exposed by one of their own," Ontario Provincial Police Inspector Dan Redmond said

A Toronto Hells Angels clubhouse, said to be the largest in the country, was seized as well as $500,000 (US$434,000) in vehicles, drugs, weapons and more than $500,000 (US$434,000) in cash.

The raids were sparked by the purchase of cocaine and GHB.

The arrests follow a number of significant moves against biker clubs by authorities in Ontario over the past year.

A series of simultaneous raids launched by provincial police in September 2006 saw 500 officers involved in arresting 15 members of the Hells Angels.