Police crack down on a triad-run racket thought to bring in $3 million a year Dozens of police officers swooped over the weekend to shut triad-run car-parking rackets along Sai Kung's seafront, which are believed to be raking in $3 million a year. Ten people were arrested and later released on bail on suspicion of being members of the Leun Ying She and 14K Hau triad societies in a crackdown that last night had at least temporarily put the rackets out of business. The suspects were detained for 24 hours and questioned over the two rackets that control parking meters along the Sai Kung seafront, forcing drivers to pay 'car jockeys' to park their vehicles on behalf of a handful of seafood restaurants who pay them. Restaurant managers pay the car jockeys $40 to $50 for each car they bring to the restaurant and customers then tip the jockeys about $20 a time for parking and minding their vehicles. Police estimated their takings at $3 million a year. Police officers handed out leaflets to drivers on Friday and Saturday telling them that the valet parking services operated by the gangs had been suspended and providing them with a map showing the nearest car parks. Forty-three drivers whose cars had already been parked by the car jockeys had their keys returned to them by police in the restaurants where they were eating. The operation, involving 35 detectives and 25 uniformed officers, follows a year-long campaign by police to rid Sai Kung of the triads monopolising seafront parking spaces, blocking off public meters and intimidating drivers. Three months ago, district councillors rejected a radical police proposal to pedestrianise the seafront and suspend the parking meters, saying it would hurt restaurants and deter tourists. The four restaurants that pay the car jockeys also objected, saying the triads provided a service and would resort to direct extortion if stripped of the income. Police responded to the district council decision by changing tactics and instead targeting car jockeys for illegal membership of triad societies in the operation. Sai Kung divisional commander Chief Inspector Mark Johnson said the weekend police raid had been designed to disturb diners as little as possible. 'We didn't want to ruin their evening when they were out having dinner,' he said. Police believe they arrested about two-thirds of the 15 triad gang members they believe work full time along the seafront stretch as car jockeys. They also removed signs advertising valet parking outside the restaurants. Chief Inspector Johnson stressed the operation was not aimed at the restaurants. If restaurants wanted valet parking services, he said, they should employ only 'professional car jockeys who are registered, insured, pay taxes and are accountable', adding the gangs may try to register their parking services as legitimate businesses.