124 held in crackdown on rival Yuen Long triad gangs

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 July, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 12 July, 2002, 12:00am

Police said yesterday they had dealt a severe blow to two triad societies in Yuen Long after arresting 65 suspected gang members in a two-week operation.

They also arrested 59 women for prostitution or for being involved in other illegal activities run by the gangs.

Officers believe the two triad gangs - 14K and Wo Shing Wo - could generate an income of up to $1 million a month from their rackets which include vice, extortion, illegal gambling and the sale of contraband cigarettes, pirated compact discs and illicit fuel.

Acting Chief Superintendent Lo Mung-hung of the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau said they were targeted because of their recent conflicts over their revenue sources in Yuen Long.

'The two triad societies have been very active in the Yuen Long district and they were attempting to expand their sphere of influence. As a result, there were a number of conflicts between the two gangs,' he said.

Mr Lo said the two gangs had allegedly fought for control of a wide range of illegal businesses in Yuen Long, including vice activities, illegal gambling and extortion from minibus drivers.

Over the past few months, the competition had resulted in about 20 assaults, unlawful gatherings and criminal damage.

Superintendent Li Wai-chi, of the New Territories North regional crime unit, believes each gang has a membership of about 1,000 in Yuen Long.

It is understood they are based in two different villages and can call for reinforcements from other districts if necessary.

No senior triad members were caught in the raids.

During the operation, which ended on Wednesday, police and Customs officers cracked down on 30 suspected centres for the sale of contraband cigarettes, illicit oil and pirated discs.

Thirty-one people were arrested and $380,000 worth of goods were seized.

Police also raided seven vice establishments controlled by the gangs and arrested seven operators and 37 mainland women. They found two 14K-run gambling dens and arrested 16 gamblers.

An undercover officer was also deployed as a minibus driver on a route believed to be controlled by the 14K gang. Four suspects who allegedly demanded admission fees from drivers plus monthly subscription fees were arrested.

Officers also smashed a 14K-run car-theft syndicate and recovered seven stolen cars in Pat Heung last week. One suspect was arrested.