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Crime in Hong Kong

Triad syndicate that recruited teenagers into drug trafficking and debt collection in Hong Kong busted in police raid

Crackdown in Sau Mau Ping resulted in 21 arrests, 16 of them suspected triad members

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 September, 2017, 2:22pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 September, 2017, 1:41pm

A police crackdown on a syndicate that recruited teenagers into drug trafficking and illegal debt collection has resulted in 21 arrests, 16 of them suspected triad members.

Two were teenage schoolboys arrested on suspicion of claiming to be members of a triad society and inviting others to become triad members, according to police on Thursday.

The 21 suspects – 20 men and one woman, aged from 14 to 56 – were rounded up when scores of anti-triad officers raided 15 locations across the city between Monday and Wednesday.

Officers also closed down a gambling den run by the triad gang in Sau Mau Ping and seized weapons including knives and extendable batons.

The anti-triad squad launched an operation code-named Flydart after intelligence indicated the syndicate lured youngsters into a triad society in Sau Mau Ping during the summer holidays.

A brief history of Hong Kong’s triad gangs

Teenagers approached by the gangsters in parks and games centres in the district were told they would receive protection after joining the triad syndicate, according to police.

“Please do not be misled into thinking that you will get protection from those triad members after joining them,” chief inspector Yin Hiu-yu of the Sau Mau Ping police district said on Thursday.

“Actually, you will either be tasked or coerced to commit a number of serious offences such as trafficking dangerous drugs and debt collection related to illegal acts and a series of violence offences.”

Yin said the operation had successfully neutralised the syndicate and it was possible further arrests would be made.

According to official statistics, police handled 971 reports of triad-related crime across the city in the first seven months of this year, a 10 per cent drop compared with 1,082 cases in the same period last year.