Hong Kong police raids deal triads a heavy blow as 59 arrested on drugs, weapons and money laundering offences

Force warns of ‘no tolerance’ for gangs that use underage individuals in criminal activities

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 January, 2017, 2:28pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 January, 2017, 9:26pm

Dozens of suspected Sun Yee On and Wo Shing Wo triad members, including core and high-ranking figures, have been arrested in connection with money laundering, loan sharking, drugs and weapons offences.

From January 3-9, and following a six-month investigation, more than 250 officers raided 55 locations across the city, arresting 43 men and 16 women aged 14 to 86 years old. The locations included private homes, unlicensed pubs, drug dens, gambling venues and gaming centres.

A police source told the Post that one of the drug dens raided was in Fanling, and allegedly run by Sun Yee On and Wo Shing Wo triad members.

Of the 59 arrested, 30 were suspected triad members. Among them was an alleged high-ranking Sun Yee On triad figure known in gang circles as “Ghost Tim”, another police source said.

Ghost Tim and his wife, both aged 59, were picked up at their home in Marina Cove, Sai Kung, on January 3. Inside the couple’s house, officers seized HK$480,000 cash and HK$50,000 in valuables deemed proceeds of crime.

They were accused of laundering more than HK$267 million through bank accounts from August 2007 to October 2014. It is understood the money was partly linked to loan sharking. The couple were released on bail pending further investigation.

In 2007, Ghost Tim was arrested in a police crackdown on the Sun Yee On triad gang, which was prompted by vandalism offences against the New World Development headquarters in Central, two hotels and 16 mobile phone shops.

Also among those arrested were two schoolboys aged 14 and 17. The youngest was held for drug trafficking and the other for possession of offensive weapons.

During the operation, code-named “Hardfrost”, officers confiscated a total of 3.6kg of cocaine and 5.4kg of ketamine, with an estimated street value of more than HK$7 million. They also seized weapons including meat knives and metal rods.

Superintendent Chim Tak-ming, of Kowloon East regional crime unit, said the raids struck a heavy blow against the gangs.

“We believe the force had to halt the illegal activities and income source of the triad concerned,” he said.

He added that several core members of the gang were among those arrested.

Chim said police would spare no effort to crack down on triads and would have zero tolerance for those who use children in their illegal activities.

Police figures show there were 1,500 reports of triad-related crimes in the first 10 months of 2016.