Restaurant-raid triad suspects freed on bail

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 June, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 June, 2004, 12:00am

The police last night released the 16 suspected triad leaders arrested at an upmarket restaurant on Monday night.

The suspected senior gang members were arrested in a high-profile raid in Causeway Bay. Sources identified them as belonging to the Wo Shing Wo and Wo Hop To triad societies.

The two gangs were believed to be holding talks concerning who would takeover leadership of the two societies after the present heads stepped down.

The 16 suspected triad heads - aged between 26 and 64 - were detained overnight for questioning.

All of them were released on $10,000 police bail each and have been required to report to police on July 27 and 28.

The alleged triad leaders were arrested at the upmarket Forum Restaurant, where abalone dishes cost as much as $30,000. The restaurant is renowned for attracting the rich and famous.

More than 30 officers from the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau raided the four-storey restaurant in Lockhart Road about 9.30pm on Monday.

A crowd of reporters and more than a hundred onlookers gathered outside the restaurant. The suspects were covered in hoods and taken away, some handcuffed.

It is also understood that some of the arrested men were the same alleged triad leaders arrested by police in a raid in Fanling on June 11.

During the June 11 raid, eight people were arrested at a restaurant in the Cheung Wah Estate.

Those arrested included six men who were believed to be gang leaders and two women who were said to be their relatives.

All the suspects arrested in Fanling were later released on bail, ranging between $20,000 and $50,000, and were ordered to report to police in early July.

Police have stepped up operations against triads this month, with raids on an alleged prostitution ring in Mongkok and a drug operation in Yuen Long.