Police are becoming increasingly concerned about violence between ethnic gangs after recent attempts by New Territories-based Nepali gangsters to move in on underworld crime in Wan Chai. It also has emerged that Pakistani criminals are trying to forge links with local triads in Yuen Long in a bid to squeeze protection money out of Pakistani businesses in the area. Earlier this month, two Nepali men were chopped outside Neptune II nightclub in Jaffe Road in an attack police sources say was linked to moves by the Nepalis - also based in Yuen Long - to expand protection and other rackets on to Hong Kong Island. The attack came a fortnight after two groups of Nepalis clashed outside another Wan Chai nightclub following an altercation inside the premises. At the time, a police spokesman denied the trouble was linked to gangland turf. But a police source told the Sunday Morning Post: 'We believe Nepali gangs are trying to make a move into areas of Wan Chai and we believe the attack outside Neptune was connected. There are concerns on Hong Kong Island about this whole problem of ethnic gangs. The Hong Kong Island intelligence unit is looking at it.' There has traditionally been a significant Nepali community in the Yuen Long area because the British Army's Gurkhas used to be based at the Sek Kong military base. Pakistani shop-owners have been told to pay up to $20,000 or face a campaign of intimidation after local and Pakistani thugs threatened their livelihoods in the New Territories. They are too frightened to complain to police amid fears they will be targeted as informers. But police sources have confirmed they are investigating the incidents after receiving a tip-off. Pakistani community leaders believe the development provides proof that criminals are trying to extend their protection rackets across ethnic groups. One leader said: 'People are getting very worried about this. It is a worrying sign. 'We know that some Pakistani gangsters have used triads before, but this is proof that they are becoming more brazen.' Shop-owners said nearly 30 men appeared outside their businesses in the Hop Choi Plaza nearly a fortnight ago. One businessman, who refused to be named for fear of reprisals, said: 'About 20 hung around outside and 10 came into my shop. About three or four were Pakistani. They want money. One year, $10,000; two years, $20,000. They told us to close or otherwise they would break everything. They told us they would call us for an answer.' Yuen Long District Commander Trevor Oakes said: 'We have received no formal complaint of the incident but we have received intelligence that there was an incident. We have been looking into that.' Mr Oakes declined to comment on whether the incident was triad related. But a police source confirmed triad involvement was suspected and that the criminals had been racially mixed. 'They seem to be looking at shops selling CDs and similar goods in an attempt to squeeze money out of them,' he said. Police have recently been stepping up attempts to cultivate contacts with the ethnic minority communities in a bid to break crime cartels.