Alleged triad leaders held in stand-off between gangs
Two alleged triad faction leaders were among 29 people arrested yesterday as two gangs confronted each other in Sham Shui Po yesterday.
Those arrested include notorious road racer Jim Chong-shing, known as the 'God of Racing', who is thought to be a faction leader of the Wo On Lok triad. He was released from jail earlier this year.
'Four Eyes Chuen', who police believe is a faction leader of the Wo Shing Wo triad, was also arrested in the operation that involved 100 officers from Kowloon West anti-triad squad and a police tactical unit.
'The triads were negotiating about a fight over a girl involving Jim's teenage son and some Wo Shing Wo members,' a police officer said. The teenager was one of those arrested.
Police cordoned off part of Kweilin Street just after midnight when the two rival gangs gathered outside two restaurants.
Jim, 54, was sitting at a table outside a congee and noodle shop with several other men, but police would not say whether 'Four Eyes Chuen' was at the same table. Another group of gangsters were sitting outside a dessert shop on the same street.
Police said they arrested 29 men aged between 16 and 56. They were taken to Sham Shui Po and Kowloon City police stations for questioning. No one has been charged. Officers searched the area and several cars parked outside the restaurants but no weapons or illicit items were found. The street reopened at 2am.
Another police officer said the 29 men were all suspected triad members and they were arrested on suspicion of unlawful assembly. The officer said police received a tip-off several days ago.
Both Jim and 'Four Eyes Chuen' were among about 2,000 people arrested by police in a crackdown against triads and organised crime ahead of the East Asian Games in 2009.
Jim was arrested for driving without a valid licence and claiming to be a member of a triad society.
In 1994, Jim was convicted of driving a vehicle without insurance in one of the city's biggest illegal car racing cases in which 40 cars raced on New Year's Day. His faction is allegedly involved in stealing cars and illegal road racing.
The Wo Shing Wo faction headed by 'Four Eyes Chuen' is believed to have been involved in drugs, extortion and counterfeit goods in the Kowloon West region, mainly in Mong Kok.
Police said the Kowloon West anti-triad squad was still investigating.
The number of triad-related crimes rose 8.3 per cent to 1,385 in the first eight months of the year, up from 1,279 in the same period a year ago.