Six held after former top triad leader bashed
Six suspected triad members have been arrested over an attack on a former top leader of the Wo On Lok triad in Wan Chai on Saturday.
A gang of 10 men bashed a former 'dragon head', nicknamed Ko Lo Fat, unconscious as he was taking his wife and two sons to a pet show at the Convention and Exhibition Centre at about 12.30pm, police said.
Detectives are investigating whether the attack is linked to infighting between two main groups over leadership of the triad. They are also on alert for possible revenge attacks after the weekend assault.
'[Ko Lo Fat] was punched and kicked for a few minutes. One of the gangsters picked up a plastic sign and clubbed him,' an anti-triad officer said. 'He was beaten unconscious, but family members were unhurt.'
The attackers fled before police arrived. Ko Lo Fat, now a triad faction leader, was taken to Queen Mary Hospital in Pok Fu Lam, where he later regained consciousness. He was said to be stable yesterday.
Police believe the attack could have been a warning rather than an attempt to kill him, as no lethal weapon was used. 'It is a traditional triad-style approach. We believe its aim is to teach Ko Lo Fat a lesson and to warn him and his group not to cause any trouble,' the officer said.
The infighting is understood to have begun after two dragon heads, nicknamed Fei Wai and Sam Chuen, refused to step down in 2010, sparking a row with gangsters Chi Fung and Dai Ma. The triad's leaders are elected every two years.
Ensuing negotiations went nowhere and instead there were attacks and cases of criminal damage.
'Fei Wai and Sam Chuen are henchmen of Ko Lo Fat, who supports their continued leadership. This apparently angers the two contenders [Chi Fung and Dai Ma],' the anti-triad officer said.
According to the officer, Dai Ma and a 'red-pole fighter' - a senior member who acts as an enforcer in the triad - were among those arrested. The six suspects were being held for questioning last night.
A senior officer said police were preparing for a possible retaliation after the beating of Ko Lo Fat.
'As we search for the attackers, we will raid entertainment venues allegedly controlled by the triad,' another officer said. 'We want to send out a message that the police are monitoring them.'
The Wo On Lok, also known as Shui Fong, operates mainly in Tsim Sha Tsui, Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok. Its illegal businesses are said to include extortion, drug trafficking and car smuggling. They control several nightclubs, mahjong parlours and massage centres.