Triad venues raided after shoot-out

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 July, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 July, 2006, 12:00am

More than 100 police last night mounted a second consecutive night of raids on entertainment premises allegedly controlled by rival triads as the hunt continued for two gunmen involved in the shooting of three suspected triad members on Monday.

Police raided more than 30 businesses, such as saunas, mahjong parlours, pubs and karaoke nightclubs, in the Kowloon West region in the first day of their nine-hour operation, which ended at 6am yesterday.

The entertainment venues are allegedly controlled by the Wo Shing Wo and Wo On Lok triad societies, a police source said.

Similar raids against the two triad gangs were also mounted in four other police regions across the city, the source said.

'We want to send a strong message to the two triad gangs that the police will adopt zero tolerance towards triads and their activities,' the source said. 'The daily raids on their businesses will last for at least a week. We will raid their establishments repeatedly.'

Officers believe the raids will make the businesses lose heavily.

On the first day of the operation, codenamed Levington, officers arrested a man and four suspected mainland prostitutes and seized $150,000 worth of pornographic VCDs in the Kowloon West region.

The operation was mounted after escalating retaliation between the Wo Shing Wo and Wo On Lok triad societies resulted in a shoot-out in Tsim Sha Tsui on Monday. Three suspected members of the Wo Shing Wo triad faction were shot with a shotgun in the attack.

The shooting occurred at the junction of Austin Road and Kimberly Road at about 5am when the three victims were among a group of five men who had just left a private club in Austin Avenue after watching the World Cup final.

Police said two gunmen approached the five and one of them fired four shots. The other gunman, carrying what appeared to be a pistol, did not open fire.

Police said the shooting stemmed from a dispute between the two gangs in the Cyber Eight disco in Tsim Sha Tsui early last month. Police said two revenge attacks occurred after the dispute.

Organised Crime and Triad Bureau officers early yesterday conducted inquiries at entertainment premises in Austin Avenue. Last night, two of the three injured men were still in serious condition in Queen Elizabeth Hospital.