The Hong Kong police initiated a crackdown on two triad gangs, who were seriously trying to convince gamblers from the mainland, to use casino cruise ships to play.
The detectives, who are dealing with this case said for the gambling news that divisions of the Wo Shing Wo and Sun Yee On triad societies have been seriously fighting over attracting passengers arriving at the Hung Hom railway station, to their casino ships.
Hong Kong police initiates crackdown on two triad gangs
•Two of the three bands that control cruise ship gambling got into argument
•They were Wo Shing Wo and Sun Yee On
•It was a fight over territory near a railway station
It all started when Wo Shing Wo tried to do business on their competitors’ territory, on Cheong Wan Road, just outside the station. This is one of the numerous locations, where the gangsters offer free overnight cruises to customers who buy promotional gambling chips.
A police source explained: “Those who buy more than HKD 50,000 in chips from mud-chip agents will be offered a free ticket and room for the overnight cruise.”
“Mud chips” is the well-known name for discounted chips, which is used in the underground world and these chips are played with in cruise ship casinos, allowed by Hong Kong gambling laws.
The source explained further that gang members earn their commissions, depending on the number of clients and more importantly the percentage of them, which actually gamble.
Furthermore, the informant clarified that last month Fei Sing, the Wo Shing Wo faction leader, sent female employees to attract clients at the Cheong Wan Road.
This invasion on Sun Yee On’s territory, which they have used in the past one year, naturally caused serious arguments between 35 gangsters in the middle of the day, at the end of last month.
Despite the fact that everything was back to normal when the police arrived, the authorities were afraid that there will be more violence, therefore they raided over 30 locations for 2 days and arrested eight suspects.
Two casino ships were also searched by 50 anti-triad detectives, but no arrests were conducted.The eight arrested were released on bail and none was charged, as the police are still trying to find the involved criminals.
The police source explained that the crackdown fulfilled its purpose to send message to triads: “If they fail to regulate themselves in the underworld, police will take over and regulate them.”
The triad bands have a lot to lose if the police gets involved as the passengers, who get picked up with shuttle ferries at piers in Tsim Sha Tsui and Hung Hom for just 15 minutes every night are enough to fill in the playing rooms of seven casino ships.
The triad groups, who control the business, are three – Sun Yee On, Wo Shing Wo and Wo On Lok, and each of them has a specific agreed site in Tsim Sha Tsui where they attract players from.
The police source added: “To avoid police interruption, they send in female agents instead of tattooed gangsters to find clients from lunchtime to 7pm every day.”
Moreover: “Finding clients to gamble in casino ships and selling mud chips are not their main profits. Providing high-interest loans to gamblers is their major source of income.”
It is reported that the business is flourishing and both gambling and giving loans are extremely profitable, especially when it comes to problem gamblers, who tend to lose more, but continue to play at any price.