Police in Hong Kong have made 347 arrests as part of a campaign to dismantle extensive criminal operations across the city. Law enforcement raided 252 venues over a three-day period to take down the triad-controlled gambling, sex, and drug enterprises. Some of the properties that police executed search warrants for included pubs, saunas, nightclubs, and mahjong parlors.
tackling triad activities is a major priority for the commissioner
They also shut down unlicensed pubs, drug dens, and illegal gambling facilities. The suspects face varying charges, including drug trafficking, membership in a criminal organization, operating an illegal gambling facility, and money laundering. A spokesperson for the police confirmed that tackling triad activities is a major priority for the commissioner and that law enforcement will continue to carry out these types of investigations.
This is not the first major sweeping set of raids on illegal gambling in Hong Kong. The authorities arrested 335 people in a similar operation in November, seizing HKD1.8m (US$230,362) worth of gaming chips and various weapons. Then in December, they detained hundreds of more people in more gambling busts, including someone suspected of laundering HK$15m (US$1.9m) in illegal gambling proceeds.
Most forms of gambling are currently illegal in Hong Kong, with the main exceptions of the state-run lottery, horse racing wagering, and soccer betting.
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