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Revealed: How Melbourne's Apex Gang Are Recruiting Members

APEX gang members are being offered luxury hotel rooms, cash and cocaine as rewards for committing terrifying armed robberies; a court has heard.

Police are saying the prizes that are being linked to a black market network that is onselling stolen cars in Melbourne’s south-east.

The claims were heard at a bail application for a 17-year-old boy who is accused of helping to plan and undertake armed robberies of jewellery stores in Coburg and the CBD.

Police are alleging that the violent smash-and-grabs were masterminded by Mahmoud Taha, who then treated the young robbers with cash, drugs and luxury accommodation.

“They are rewarded with lavish hotel rooms and ­cocaine and ecstasy by Taha,” a detective told a children’s magistrate yesterday.

The 17-year-old cannot be named but was charged with armed robbery, car theft and criminal damage of up to $200,000.

Police fear that if the boy is set free from the charges he will just pick up where he left off.

The boy was bailed on strict conditions, including a ­mobile phone and social media ban.

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