Cops step up watch on triad gangs

Local | Staff reporter 18 Apr 2019

Police have embarked on an anti-triad operation of unprecedented scale in the "year of the elections" for triads, Eastweek has reported.

This came as three major gangs in Hong Kong - Wo Shing Wo, Shui Fong and Wo Hop To - will hold "elections" to choose new heads.

Planned by the Organized Crime and Triad Bureau, the biggest anti-triad operation will involve different departments in the police force, including the Criminal Intelligence Bureau, the Financial Investigations Division, the Technology Crime Division, the Regional Anti-Triad Units and the Police Tactical Unit.

Police will conduct raids in different police regions and on the internet.

Sources said the mission to combat the top five triad groups in Hong Kong - Sun Yee On, Wo Shing Wo, 14K, Shui Fong and Wo Hop To - will continue at least until the summer holidays.

A senior anti-triad expert told Eastweek that of the elections, the situation in Wo Shing Wo will be the most chaotic.

"While three powers in the triad group all want to nominate candidates to be heads of the group, there is a rising power in the group that earns a lot in internet businesses. One of the members also wants to be a leader of the triad group," he said.

The middle-aged member was involved in gathering fraudsters to act as beautiful women to scam victims in the Loco London Gold Fraud.

Apart from the elections, the police are also expecting more trouble with the rise of young leaders, as seen in a series of incidents recently.

The source said the young leaders of Sun Yee On have been fighting vigorously in recent years.

One of the incidents involved an internal fight in the group earlier this month. At 4am on April 2, two private cars stopped a taxi with two passengers in Kowloon Tong. Three people came out of the vehicles and they pulled two men out of the taxi and stabbed them with knives.

Another incident happened on January 5 in the afternoon when seven masked people in two cars stopped a car in Prince Edward Road East. The group smashed the car window using machetes, hammers and iron rods, and stabbed the passengers inside. Two were stabbed and another two were injured with broken glasses.

On September 26 last year, a 24-year-old woman, believed to be a member of Sun Yee On, was severely injured after being stabbed by two people seven times in Tseung Kwan O. Two hours later, a man set fire to a private car in Po Lam's King Lam Estate Car Park in revenge. The arson affected 52 other vehicles.

Police believe the incidents were related to revenge within the same triad group. The Kwun Tong faction had allied with Tsim Sha Tsui to fight against Tseung Kwan O.

The source said police had collected a lot of intelligence and worked under cover. They had also arrested and charged several influential heads and important members in the triad groups in recent years.

In 2018, 1,715 triad-related crimes were recorded, a drop of 83 cases compared with 2017. Most of the offenses involved wounding and serious assaults.

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