Hong Kong police arrest more than 160 people in Kowloon anti-triad crackdown
Drugs and DVDs containing obscene material seized in three-day operation
Hong Kong police have arrested more than 160 people and seized about HK$5 million (US$639,000) worth of illicit goods including discs containing obscene material and illegal drugs in a three-day crackdown on triads in West Kowloon.
During the operation, set to end on Friday night, the force closed down two drug dens, six illegal gambling establishments and 13 shops selling obscene DVDs. It also broke up a triad-controlled syndicate involved in the manufacture and distribution of the obscene material.
The Post understands the venues were controlled by three triad societies – Wo Shing Wo, 14K and Wo On Lok – and the arrests included about 20 suspected triad members. Drug abusers and gamblers were among the other suspects.
Illegal drugs with an estimated street value of HK$1.5 million and 190,000 obscene DVDs and manufacturing equipment worth more than HK$3 million in total were confiscated along with arcade game machines and weapons such as knives and extendable batons.
“We believe our operation has halted the triad activities and hit the income source of the triad gangs concerned,” Superintendent Wong Chi-wai of Kowloon West regional crime unit said.
Police started collecting intelligence on the illegal activities in Mong Kok, Sham Shui Po, Tsim Sha Tsui and Yau Ma Tei late last month.
According to police, more than 500 officers were deployed to raid nearly 80 locations, mainly in the Kowloon West area, between Wednesday and Friday.
On Thursday, officers raided an industrial unit in Fo Tan that a Wo Shing Wo triad gang used as its obscene disc manufacturing and packaging centre. Inside the unit, officers seized 350 disc writers, computers, printers and some obscene materials.
Saying the centre produced thousands of obscene DVDs each day, Chief Inspector Lam Chi-yuen of Kowloon West regional anti-triad squad said the syndicate had provided a “one-stop service” that included manufacturing, packaging, delivery and retail.
“Hired delivery vans were used to deliver finished products to its 13 retails outlets in the West Kowloon region,” he said.
Lam believed the centre had been in operation for about a month.
Seven visitors from the mainland – two men and five women – were picked up in the Fo Tan industrial unit. Police said the mainlanders were recruited to manufacture obscene discs and package the finished products.
By 6pm on Friday, 167 people – 134 men and 33 women – had been rounded up in the operation.
Police said the operation was still continuing and further arrests were expected.
Wong said police would spare no effort to crack down on triads and would continue to carry out intelligence-led operations to combat such illegal activities.
According to official statistics, police handled 1,798 reports of triad-related crimes last year, down four per cent compared with the figure in 2016.