Police bust triad ring using young drug addicts

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 April, 2012, 12:00am

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Police have smashed a triad-controlled syndicate that recruited youngsters to sell illegal substances after getting them hooked on free drugs. This followed a three-month undercover operation that ended in a series of raids.

Its 26-year-old ringleader, his wife and 17 others were arrested in raids on more than 20 locations yesterday and on Tuesday night. Police believe the suspects, aged from 17 to 27, are members of the Wo Shing Wo triad.

Last night, officers were looking for two more men in connection with the case.

Illegal drugs including ketamine and cocaine, drug-packaging equipment, jewellery and cash were seized in the operation. They are estimated to be worth more than HK$500,000.

'Information indicated that free drugs were offered [by the gang] to lure youths,' said Chief Superintendent Henry Ho ming-sun, the acting Kwai Tsing district commander.

'When the youths got hooked, the gang then charged them for the drugs. Those who could not pay were recruited to find new clients and sell drugs.'

Ho said the youths were sent to peddle drugs in Kwai Chung and Tsing Yi.

'The recruits were told to go to games centres, cybercafes and parks to find new clients,' he said.

Police say there are about 200,000 young people and dozens of games centres and cybercafes in the two areas.

They began investigating the syndicate in January after learning that the gang, originally involved in extortion and loansharking, tried to set up a drugs business.

An undercover agent posing as a young jobless person was sent to collect evidence and identify the key figures. He bought drugs from the gang in 11 controlled transactions.

All the suspects were still being held for questioning last night and none had been charged.