Police arrest 410 in major triad operation targeting gang that was making HK$500,000 a day from crime

19-Apr-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:38 AM Print This Post

More than 410 people have been arrested in a major police crackdown on a Hong Kong triad gang that controlled 15 gambling dens, 14 vice establishments and four unlicensed pubs in Yuen Long and Tin Shui Wai, police said on Thursday.

Among those arrested were 25 suspected triad members.

Police are still searching for the ringleader and core figures of the Yuen Long gang that reportedly made about HK$500,000 a day from crime.

The 220 men and 193 women included suspected sex workers from mainland China, and gamblers, who have been rounded up in a series of raids over the past seven days.

Police said those taken into custody were arrested for a variety of offences including operating illegal gambling dens, possessing offensive weapons, selling alcohol without a licence, trafficking in dangerous drugs, and breaching condition of stay.

During the operation, officers also seized 16 arcade game machines, 37 slot machines and 28 mahjong tables, along with HK$200,000.

Chief Inspector Ng Ka-ki said two officers had been sent undercover in February when it was discovered the gang had tried to expand its influence in Yuen Long.

In addition to gambling and vice activities, he said the gang was also involved in drug trafficking and illegal debt collection.

During the operation, police raided two public housing flats that were used by the gang as a drug distribution centre and a mini arsenal to store weapons.

Weapons including seven retractable batons, an axe, a knife and three pipes were seized along with gloves and face masks when officers raided the arsenal on Sunday.

Senior inspector Lee Ka-wing said the weapons were stockpiled and ready to use in any fight against rival gangs.

On the first day of the operation, police arrested 22 people and seized HK$74,000 in two games centres in which arcade game machines and slot machines were used for gambling.

Between Sunday and Wednesday, officers raided 14 foot massage centres in the district that were used as vice establishments. In the 14 locations, police arrested 72 female visitors from the mainland who held two-way permits a mainland travel document for entering Hong Kong.

According to police, about 150 police officers raided more than 35 locations during the operation.

“We believe the operation smashed the triad gang and struck a heavy blow to their illegal activities and income sources,” Ng said.

He said police would continue to mount regular intelligence-led operations in the fight against crime, and would spare no effort in the fight against gangs.

According to official statistics, police handled 1,715 reports of triad-related crime in 2018, down 4.6 per cent compared with 1,798 in 2017.



Category: Hong Kong

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