In an extensive crackdown operation spanning three days, Hong Kong authorities have successfully carried out 347 total arrests connected to triad-controlled illegal establishments and entertainment venues across the city. The operation targeted 252 drug dens, gambling venues, and pubs that were operating without proper licenses. These establishments were visited by the police in collaboration with fire and immigration services as part of a multi-department action aimed at rooting out illegal businesses.
Among the visited entertainment venues were game centers, mahjong parlors, pubs, nightclubs, and saunas. A police spokesman confirmed that the illegal businesses that did not comply with the law were “closed down.” In addition to the 252 locals who were arrested, the authorities also apprehended 13 mainlanders and three individuals who were illegally staying in the city.
This crackdown comes on the heels of a similar operation in February 2023, where the Hong Kong Police Force arrested 234 individuals, including suspected triad members, during operation Levington. The recent police statement revealed that all 347 suspects were detained on suspicion of various offenses, including drug trafficking, triad membership, managing gambling establishments, criminal damages, managing drug dens, wounding, and accusations related to laundering crime proceeds.
The police spokesperson emphasized that combating triad activities remains a top priority, and the authorities will continue to enhance intelligence gathering and take timely and targeted law enforcement actions against violent crimes, organized crime activities, and their income sources.
Recent high-profile incidents related to gangsters in the New Territories prompted the authorities to conduct two similar triad crackdown operations across the city. In one such operation, police officers raided entertainment venues run by the triad and shut down a series of brothels and gambling dens. Last October, 46 arrests were made, including the alleged leader of the Sun Yee On faction in Tuen Mun.
In December, law enforcement in Hong Kong made over 100 arrests while shutting down gambling dens and seizing cash, bank cards, and criminal proceeds. The first 10 months of 2023 saw a 2.2% rise in the number of reported crimes tied to triads, with police authorities tackling no less than 1,620 cases.