Hong Kong Authorities Arrest Dozens in Triad-Linked Raids

Hong Kong police enforcement seized a total of 83 people in a three-day operation from Thursday to Saturday, including 41 men and 42 women. Their claimed crimes included money laundering and participation in unlawful gaming, exposing a web of criminal organizations.

Authorities apprehended family members of an unnamed boss, including his wife and kid, as part of the operation, as well as a suspected gang advisor. The family is suspected of making a stunning HK$68 million (US$8.67 million) from unlawful operations. HK$12.5 million (US$1.6 million) was taken by police during the raids, including HK$7 million (US$892,500) in cash and property titles.

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While the leader’s son, aged 26, was not directly involved with the triad, the detailed money trail prompted officials to suspect him. According to the allegations, the property holdings may have been staged to disguise their origins, as no direct records tied the son to the property payments.

Suspicious bank activities sparked these widespread raids. Significant amounts of money were linked between unknown places and the family’s bank accounts, causing authorities to intervene. Notably, the family repeatedly funneled over HK$10 million (US$1.27 million) into real estate purchases.

The family claimed an income of HK$1.6 million (US$204,000) during a nine-year period, providing light on their financial activities.

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Authorities seized two lenders accused of having connections to the triad in addition to the family. Six of the 14 people arrested are suspected of laundering money for a loansharking operation with high interest rates of up to 400%. The remaining eight people are suspected of debt management and collection.

These targeted raids resonated across the region, targeting not only illicit gambling operations but also other establishments associated with the triad. A petrol station allegedly linked to the network was also investigated. Finally, 65 of the 83 arrests were made as a result of these efforts.

Chief Inspector Terence Wong Chi-tang spearheaded the inquiry under the police’s Organized Crime and Triad Bureau. A year of relentless investigation into the financial dealings of a suspected Wo Shing Wo figure and his family culminated in these impactful raids.

Amid these criminal operations, a recent study conducted by the consulting firm i-Change, sponsored by a nongovernmental organization, unveiled concerns about a potential surge in online gambling among Hong Kong’s youth. The study focused on 601 students aged 19 to 25, with findings indicating that 41% of participants engaged in gambling activities within the last three months. Of note, nearly 50% reported involvement with online gambling platforms.

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Hong Kong’s gambling realm remains closely regulated, with exclusive licensing held by the Hong Kong Jockey Club for authorized gambling operations.

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