47 alleged triad members arrested after debt fracas

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 May, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 May, 2004, 12:00am

Police arrested 47 alleged triad members and four women in a Mongkok restaurant early yesterday when they met to discuss a soccer gambling debt.

The 47 men, aged from 19 to 60, are believed to be two faction leaders and 45 members of the 14K and Wo Shing Wo triads. The four women were their friends.

'Preliminary investigations showed that a soccer betting debt collected by the Wo Shing Wo triad gang sparked the meeting. We are told that the debt involved is between $100,000 and $200,000,' a police source said.

The alleged gangsters began to arrive at the first-floor restaurant in Shanghai Street, Mongkok, at 1am. Police, including officers from the tactical unit, were called in when a heated argument started just before 2am. When officers arrived, the gang members were found occupying about 10 tables.

Some of the alleged gang members struggled with officers during the arrests in the restaurant. Police said no weapons were seized.

A police spokeswoman said the 47 men and four women were arrested for unlawful assembly, disorderly conduct in a public place and resisting arrest.

Last night, they were still being held for questioning in Mongkok police station.