Lengthy undercover job nets 222
A junior policeman is under police protection after taking part in the longest undercover operation ever.
It ended in a series of raids over the past 11 days, resulting in 222 arrests.
The 23-year-old constable spent two years undercover and provided a list of about 120 active members of the Sun Yee On triad society, including its 11 faction leaders.
Commending his performance, a police investigator said: 'Our agent encountered various difficulties and risked his own safety during the undercover operation, but he never gave up.'
Acting Chief Superintendent Cheuk Hau-yip of the organised crime and triad bureau said previous operations normally lasted from one year to 18 months.
He said undercover operations were not easy to conduct: 'I can only say criminals are more cautious. That is one of the reasons why the operation took such a long period.'
The constable was implanted into the triad about two years ago as intelligence indicated that a Tuen Mun-based faction headed by 'Tai Hau' was trying to extend its influence in Tsim Sha Tsui, Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok and had teamed up with other Sun Yee On faction leaders nicknamed 'So Lung' and 'Ah Yat'.
Another police officer said the move by 'Tai Hau' led to confrontations with the other factions of the Sun Yee On triad and other societies.
After identifying the triad members and gathering evidence, officers started arresting people on the list and raided 450 locations from December 28 to January 8.
On December 28, police arrested 78 suspected triad members on the list, including 'Tai Hau', 'So Lung' and 'Ah Yat'.
Police said about 30 suspected triad members, including two other faction leaders, are still at large. Cheuk said some had fled Hong Kong.
On January 8, officers arrested a further 144 people when police raided entertainment venues controlled by the society and targeted their illegal activities, such as drug trafficking, illegal gambling and bookmaking.
During the raids, police seized HK$160,000 of table money in illegal gambling dens, illegal drugs with a street value of HK$200,000 and more than 10,000 pornographic discs and about 1,600 illegal cigarettes.
Cheuk said that although the operation failed to neutralise the triad society completely, police had successfully stopped the gang from extending its influence. He stressed that targeting triad activities was one of the police commissioner's top priorities and police would continue to fight against triads.