Triad's murder may be linked to turf war
Police believe the murder of a senior triad member on the doorstep of a luxury hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui could be the result of a turf war between rival gangs over the area.
Lee Tai-lung was knocked down by a car then chopped to death at about 4am on Tuesday after he stepped out of his Mercedes-Benz at the Kowloon Shangri-La.
Officially, police would say only that an investigation was continuing into the brazen killing and that an autopsy had found the senior Sun Yee On enforcer died from a loss of blood after suffering wounds to his limbs and head.
But officers involved in the investigation said police were following two angles as they tried to track down those responsible for the murder.
One was linked to the feared enforcer's continuing feud with the rival Wo Shing Wo triad society over prostitution, soccer gambling and drugs, while another was a long-standing power struggle within Lee's own Sun Yee On society.
'There is no doubt he was a powerful figure in Sun Yee On who was in a position to be in control of the big money businesses, such as drugs and soccer betting,' one officer involved in the investigation said.
Tsim Sha Tsui East, traditionally a Sun Yee On stronghold, is regarded as lucrative because of its nightclubs, saunas and hostess bars.
The officer added that the manner in which Lee was killed was similar to other attacks involving Wo Shing Wo.
'He was a well-known and active triad society member, so he had certain enemies,' another officer said. 'We are exploring the links between them.'
The dispute between Lee, known as the 'Baron of Tsim Sha Tsui East', and the Wo Shing Wo first surfaced publicly when he visited the district's police station in August 2006 with 64 followers as he reported as part of his bail conditions for an assault charge.
The charge came after a 50-person fight involving Sun Yee On and Wo Shing Wo triad members in a pub in Tsim Sha Tsui in July 2006.
That dispute is believed to have centred on the Wo Shing Wo trying to muscle into territory controlled by other gangs, including the Sun Yee On.
An officer who worked on the case said the large turnout was a 'show of force' to prove they could protect their dai lo (big brother) when he turned up to the police station.
'This dispute has not been settled,' the officer said.
The other lead is that the hit could be part of an ongoing power struggle within Sun Yee On for control of lucrative protection rackets.
The officers also said two burnt-out cars found in Lam Kam Road, Tai Po, which they believed were connected to the murder were reported missing in Tsuen Wan and Yau Ma Tei a few days ago.
A long-serving hotel security guard said top triads preferred luxury hotels for business meetings, for added protection.
A police spokesman urged people with information on the case to contact the force on 2713 3777 or to visit any police station.