Triad Leader ‘Broken Tooth’ Wan Kuok Koi Sought in Malaysia for $1.4 Million Fraud

Posted on: February 4, 2021, 03:27h. 

Last updated on: February 4, 2021, 03:49h.

Authorities in Malaysia say they believe Macau gangster and VIP room owner “Broken Tooth” Wan Kuok Koi is hiding out in the country.

Broken Tooth
Triad-branded beer, anyone? Wan launches his latest “Hongmen” product. (Image: Kharon)

The Straits Times reports the 65-year-old head of the 14K triads is currently wanted in Malaysia for fraud. That’s after he allegedly failed to transfer $1.4 million in shares in Malaysia Bursa-listed computer software company Inix to a third party, as had been agreed.

In August last year, Inix surprised the country’s business community by introducing Wan as its new non-executive chairman, an appointment that lasted all of four months.

In December, the US Treasury Department announced sanctions against Wan for spreading his triad criminal network through Southeast Asia and across China’s Belt and Road economic bloc.

The Straits Times does not go into detail about Wan’s alleged Inix shares fraud. But it adds that Malaysian authorities are also looking into possible share-price manipulation following unusual trading activity in Inix stock around the time Wan was appointed to the board.

Malaysian police are also in the process of asking Interpol to put out a red notice for the gangster.

Broken Tooth’s ‘History and Cultural Association’

In Malaysia, an individual is disqualified from being appointed a director of a company if they have been convicted of a crime or finished serving a prison sentence within the past five years. Wan was able to become a chairman of Inix because he has been out of prison since 2012.

In November 1999, he was sentenced to 15 years for illegal gambling, loansharking, criminal association, and the attempted car-bombing of a police chief.

Under US sanctions, American citizens are forbidden from doing business with Wan or any company associated with him, a development that likely hastened his departure from Inix.

According to the Treasury Department, Wan has founded an organization called “the World Hongmen History and Cultural Association (WHHCA),” which he has been promoting in the lawless areas of Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar.

The Hongmen is an ancient Chinese fraternal society. But the Treasury thinks the WHHCA is a front for the triads. Wan has been selling Hongmen-branded beer, wine, and watches in China, Cambodia, and the Philippines.

Meanwhile, a company controlled by Wan, the Dongmei Group, is building the Saixigang Industrial Zone in Myanmar. According to the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), the project is designed to be a new hub for Chinese casinos and online gambling businesses forced out of Cambodia because of a recent crackdown by the Chinese and Cambodian governments.

Turf War

In 1990s, Wan presided over the 14K during a vicious turf war with rival triad group Shui Fong over control of Macau’s VIP rooms.

As of August 2020, Wan still owned the Macau National Ying VIP Club at the Casino L’Arc Macau, according to a Malaysian securities filing seen by Kharon, a global security-focused research and data analytics company.

Today, according to USIP, the 14K triads have a deep presence in the US in the heroin trade, illegal gambling, extortion, and human trafficking.