Police have dealt a hard blow to triad gangs active in Yuen Long District following the arrest of 69 men and 97 women aged between 16 and 60.
Following prolonged investigations, officers of the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau (OCTB), Criminal Intelligence Bureau and Yuen Long District mounted an undercover operation codenamed "Hardtop" since October last year.
The operation targeted at various triad-related activities including vice activities, sale of fireworks, extortion of hawkers and shuttle bus drivers, management of gambling establishments, and sale of illegal marked oil.
Undercover officers were deployed to infiltrate into triad societies in the district to gather intelligence and evidence.
The operation turned overt on January 8 during which Police raided 21 locations in Yuen Long and arrested 29 men and 90 women in connection with vice activities.
On January 10, Police officers arrested seven men suspected of extorting hawkers in Yuen Long and Tin Shui Wai. Four of them aged between 16 and 22 have already been charged with blackmail and acting as a member of a triad society. They will appear in Tuen Mun Magistrates' Courts tomorrow (January 13). The remaining three men have been released on bail at $10,000 each and will report back on January 23.
Police also arrested 11 men who were in connection with extortion of shuttle bus drivers operating service in Yuen long on the same day.
Besides, Police and customs officers also neutralised seven stations selling illegal marked oil and arrested seven persons.
On January 11, Police officers neutralised three triad controlled gambling establishments in Yuen Long and arrested eight persons. About $100,000 worth of cash and betting slips were seized during the raid.
In an operation to tackle sale of illegal fireworks, Police arrested two persons and seized 748 kilograms of fireworks worth about $500,000.
Two other locations suspected to be used as stores of weapons by triad members were raided and a man was arrested. Twenty knives and 12 water pipes were seized.
Police also arrested 11 persons wanted for various offences including triad related offences and wounding during the whole operation.
A Police spokesman said that similar operations would be conducted on a regular basis in order to curb triad related activities.
Add Police Report No. 2
Issued by PPRB
End/ 1730 hours, Sunday, January 12, 2003 (MH/TK)