Triad Twist May Underpin Mong Kok Violence
Alleged gangsters in Tuen Mun clashed with hawkers just after the bloody riot.
In a bizarre twist underpinning Monday’s violent clash in Mong Kok, three hawkers and a local reporter were injured by a group of masked men in jackets suspected to be triad members in Tuen Mun on Tuesday.
At the Leung King public housing estate, these men wore jackets that marked them as part of a management team. The Link REIT, which owns the area surrounding the estate—including a mall and a market— has since denied that it employs these men. Unlicensed street hawkers at the Lueng King estate reported that they had been harassed since Sunday, and that these men attempted to interfere in their businesses.
In November, Apple Daily reported that hawkers at the Leung King estate were backed by the Sun Yee On triad and the estate had been a long-time hotbed of triad activity. Shop owners at the time, incensed by competition from hawkers who operated rent-free, asked the Shui Fong triad to intimidate them out of business.
Whether the conflicts in November and this week are linked is uncertain, but triads taking parts in conflicts and fights are common. There’s also speculation that triad members may have joined in the Mong Kok riot on the first night of the Chinese New Year.
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While the identity of the masked men remains unknown, conflict subsided at the Leung King estate by Wednesday night. A 31-year-old man was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct in a public place when he tried to stop the masked men.