Triad-Related Gambling Raids in Hong Kong Lead to 335 Arrests

Posted on: November 13, 2023, 07:20h. 

Last updated on: November 15, 2023, 07:39h.

Hong Kong authorities recently executed a series of raids targeting Triad-affiliated operations. Hong Kong police have concluded a three-day operation resulting in the arrest of 335 individuals, according to Media outlet Dim Sum Daily.

Hong Kong police conducting a street patrol
Hong Kong police conduct a street patrol, above. They have arrested 335 people suspected of participating in triad-led illegal gambling and other activity. (Image: AFP)

The police conducted early morning raids at 223 entertainment properties across Hong Kong, including bars, nightclubs, saunas, mahjong parlors, and other recreational venues. Law enforcement efforts, as reported by the media outlet, led to the confiscation of weapons, mahjong tables, gambling chips valued at HKD1.8 million (US$230,580), and narcotics.

The detainees, ranging in age from 18 to 88, now face charges of operating illegal gambling parlors and brothels, possession of firearms, fraud, money laundering, property damage, and drug possession.

The raids are the latest in an ongoing and targeted crackdown on underground establishments linked to suspected Triad involvement in illegal gambling and prostitution.

Funeral Unrest

The arrests come in the wake of the funeral of the father of “Tsz Tung,” a former leader of the Hong Kong Wo Shing Wo triad. The Wo Shing Wo triad has been involved in various criminal activities, including, but not limited to, extortion, drug trafficking, illegal gambling, prostitution, and violent activities, such as turf wars.

The funeral, which took place on November 9, drew a significant number of individuals associated with these criminal groups. Given the potential for unrest during the funeral, authorities deployed anti-gang squad officers and the tactical unit of the West Kowloon Police District. Traffic control measures were implemented to manage the large crowds for the event.

Law enforcement is still investigating the attendance at the funeral and the entertainment venues. The increased number of triad-linked people in Hong Kong for the funeral made it easier for police to move in and sweep up the criminals. They also aren’t ignoring that they came together publicly, seemingly taunting Hong Kong’s ongoing efforts to end triad control.

Wo Shing Wo Triad

The Wo Shing Wo is one of the oldest and most prominent triad societies in Hong Kong, dating back to the early 20th century. It has roots in Guangdong, China, and played a significant role in the region’s underworld before establishing a formidable presence in Hong Kong.

Over the years, the organization has faced crackdowns by law enforcement in China and Hong Kong, leading to periods of decline and resurgence. The triad has also been involved in internal conflicts and rivalries with other triad factions, contributing to the region’s complex and dynamic underworld landscape.

The triad’s tentacles stretch out of Hong Kong and China. It has reportedly run drug operations in Australia and Europe, as well as Canada and other countries.

The Wo Shing Wo triad is allegedly active in France, where it controls the heroin trade alongside Albanian and Turkish gangs. It is also allegedly the largest criminal organization in the UK, operating in major cities across the country.