Police claim victory against car-theft ring

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 July, 2011, 12:00am


Police say they have broken up a New Territories ring run by two triad groups that stole and smuggled cars, and recovered four stolen cars, two bound for overseas.

Detectives from the organised crime and triad bureau said they were able to step in because of infighting in the Wo On Lok, which organised the smuggling.

A 34-year-old man was arrested in Pat Heung early yesterday in connection with the seizure.

The man, who left jail last month, was escorted to a garage at a remote hillside off Fan Kam Road in Pat Heung, where officers recovered four cars, worth about HK$200,000. He is a suspected Sun Yee On member.

The Sun Yee On is one of the biggest triads. The Wo On Lok's business is said to include car smuggling, drug-trafficking and control of a number of nightclubs, mahjong parlours and massage centres.

Two of the cars, Subarus, were allegedly stolen in Tuen Mun and Tung Chung in October. The other two vehicles - a Toyota Harrier and Toyota Prado - were stolen in Ho Man Tin and Cheung Sha Wan in March. Police believe the man belonged to a stolen-car-smuggling syndicate jointly run by the Sun Yee On and Wo On Lok triads.

'Investigations showed that the Sun Yee On triad was responsible for stealing cars and the Wo On Lok, also known as Shui Fong, was responsible for smuggling stolen vehicles out of Hong Kong,' a police officer said.

The officer said investigations showed that the syndicate stole the two Subarus for its own use, but the Toyotas were intended to be smuggled to other Asian countries.

'We believe the two Toyota cars were stocked in the garage because the Shui Fong were involved in infighting,' the officer said.

'Our intelligence shows that the triad is ceasing most of its high-risk illegal business, and its key figures remain low-profile.'

The infighting is understood to have begun after the two dragonheads of the Wo On Lok refused to step down, sparking a row with two other gangsters. Its dragonheads are elected every two years. The dispute has provoked two cases of criminal damage, in Mong Kok and in Tsim Sha Tsui. Last night, the suspect was being held for questioning as police sought other suspected members of the syndicate.