Sting busts drug gangs using teens as couriers

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 August, 2011, 12:00am


Two baby-faced policemen posed as video-game enthusiasts, leading to a bust on two triad-related gangs that recruited teenagers to deliver drugs.

The policemen, mingling with the young patrons, spied at game centres and cybercafes for four months before officers cracked down over the past two days. The operation, codenamed 'Soundbreaker', ended in a series of raids and the arrest of 22 people, including the four alleged ringleaders of the two gangs.

Three of those arrested were female. A further five were boys aged 16 and 17 who were allegedly recruited by the gangs to deliver drugs in Tai Po and Sheung Shui. One of them is a secondary school pupil.

In April, the two undercover agents were sent to game centres and cybercafes known as recruitment venues for the gangs.

'Our agents were sent to the entertainment venues every night. Sometimes they had to work overnight,' a police officer said.

'After getting along with drug traffickers and gaining their trust, our officers were offered illegal drugs.'

In recent months, the two agents bought illegal drugs from the gangs in about 20 transactions, police said.

The arrests were made when about 70 officers from New Territories North crime units raided 20 locations including entertainment venues and flats in Tai Po and Sheung Shui. Among the arrested were two girls aged 15 and 17 who were suspected of taking part in a drugs party with two others in a public housing flat in Fanling on Monday night.

Drugs with a street value of HK$40,000 were seized.

Police said one of the gangs was allegedly controlled by the Wo Shing Wo triad and was active in Sheung Shui while the other was controlled by the Sun Yee On and was active in Tai Po. Superintendent Choy Wai-fu of the New Territories North crime unit said the two gangs recruited teenagers as drug couriers in an attempt to avoid arrests.

'Investigations showed that free drugs were offered by the gangs to lure teenagers to deliver drugs, and they were also paid between HK$30 and HK$40 for each delivery.'

Choy believed the two gangs had been in operation for months.

Last night, police were still looking for several other people.

In the first six months, police seized 83kg of heroin, up 112.8 per cent from last year; 20kg of Ice; and 157kg of ketamine, up 566.7 and 63.5 per cent respectively. The 8kg of cannabis seized was a rise of 166.7 per cent.