Hong Kong police raids strike triad gang with monopoly on lunch-box sales at construction sites
Officers arrest 29, with most suspected of being members of gang which forced other hawkers to leave sites using criminal intimidation, assault
Police have broken up a triad gang which controlled the sale of lunch boxes at construction sites in the south region of the New Territories, with the business generating a monthly turnover of HK$1.8 million.
Twenty-five men and four women were arrested in a series of raids across the city since Thursday. The raids were the result of a months-long undercover operation, acting superintendent Cheung Tin-lok said on Friday.
The 29 arrested included the suspected ringleader and three core members of the triad gang.
Cheung said most of the 29 were believed to be triad members, including two 16-year-old boys.
To gain a monopoly, the gang had expelled hawkers who sold lunch boxes at construction sites in Tung Chung on Lantau, Sha Tin, Kwai Chung and Tsang Yi, Cheung said.
He added that those who refused to leave were subject to criminal intimidation and assault.
Cheung also said the gang could earn a minimum profit of HK$800,000 a month through such businesses.
The acting superintendent said police were continuing their operation, with further arrests expected.
Police figures show reports of triad-related crime rose by 14 per cent to 1,872 last year from 1,643 in 2014. There were 1,812 such reports in 2015.