Sun Yee On crackdown was six years in the making
A Shenzhen police crackdown last week on a gang linked to Hong Kong's Sun Yee On triad was six years in the making. And it has cost some officials their jobs because of their suspected ties to organised crime, according to mainland media.
Shenzhen police chief Li Ming said officers had arrested 193 suspects, seized 11 guns and more than 1 billion yuan (HK$1.2 billion) in gang assets and large quantities of drugs.
They also shut down 44 businesses with alleged triad links.
Li said that Liu Shaoxiong, party head of the Shajing Street Committee in the city's Baoan district, had been sacked. Liu has been handed over to prosecutors for an internal party probe of his alleged close links to the so-called Shajing Sun Yee On branch, the biggest gang in the special economic zone.
'My predecessor Li Feng started to probe [criminal cases] in Shajing and found many were related to triad operations, but he couldn't take action immediately because of a lack of evidence,' Li Ming was quoted by the Southern Metropolis Daily as saying.
'The [Shajing] Sun Yee On has direct links with many illegal real estate projects in the region ... and in some cases this has led to murder.'
The anti-triad campaign, launched last month by Guangdong party chief Wang Yang, has been applauded by Shajing residents. They have been living under the shadow of triad chief Chen Yaodong since the early 1990s.
'Before the crackdown, public order in Shajing was very bad and many taxi drivers were once scared to enter this area,' the Guangzhou-based New Express quoted a Shenzhen taxi driver as saying. 'Many of my colleagues were robbed and attacked and had other bad experiences when taking passengers to Shajing.'
The New Express said Chen, nicknamed 'Dragon Brother', had colluded with the committee to corner the building materials market in Shajing in a bid to reap huge gains from controlling all the property development projects in the area.
Police had sealed off at least six of Chen's villas, including an upmarket property with a state-owned reservoir that a local official gave him as a present, as well as a fleet of luxury cars parked at an abandoned recycling plant, the New Express said.
Chen is a nephew of a Hong Kong triad member who had founded the Shajing branch in the mid-1980s, police said. He took over the gang in 1991 after his uncle fled to Hong Kong. Chen later recruited several hundred members, building it into the biggest gang in Shenzhen.
The police raid came just weeks after the downfall of Wang Yang's long-time political rival Bo Xilai, Chongqing's former party boss.
Bo is known for his crackdown on triads in Chongqing that had led to the detention of more than 5,400 suspects last year.
Shenzhen police say they will sustain their crackdown, as they have uncovered more criminal activities.