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 Chinese Triads and gangs
Hollander
Posted: Sep 11 2009, 05:12 AM


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Seventeen arrested over gangland killing of Hong Kong triad boss
Posted : Fri, 11 Sep 2009 04:29:25 GMT
Author : DPA
Category : Asia (World)
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Hong Kong - Seventeen people have been arrested over the execution of a feared triad gang leader outside a luxury hotel in Hong Kong, police said Friday. Lee Tai-lung, 44, known as the "Baron of Tsim Sha Tsui East," was run down by a van outside the five-star Kowloon Shangri-la Hotel on August 4 and then hacked to death by three men with knives.

Police said the attack was a well-organized hit using a technique known among Hong Kong's notorious triad gangs as "ram and chop." The gangs run prostitution, drugs and extortion rackets across the city.

The assassins used caps to cover their faces, and the vehicles used were later found burned out 32 kilometres away in Tai Po near Hong Kong's border with mainland China.

Police say the murder bore the hallmarks of a hit by the Wo Shing Wo triad faction. Lee, a former boxer, had been linked to two attacks on high-ranking members of the gang in 2002 and 2006.

His killing appears to be connected to a long-running battle for control between Wo Shing Wo and Lee's Sun Yee On triad factions for control of the lucrative entertainment district in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Lee was a "red pole" fighter for the Sun Yee On triad faction, a senior member with a reputation as a ferocious fighter who often played the role of enforcer on behalf of his gang.

Seventeen suspects aged between 19 to 49 have now been arrested after a city-wide operation by officers from Hong Kong's specialized Organized Crime and Triad Bureau, a police spokesman said.



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GangstersInc
Posted: Sep 20 2009, 09:05 AM


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Triad gangster gardener from Sauchie gets four years for cannabis cultivation http://www.wee-county-news.co.uk/index.php...=1368&Itemid=56
by Martin Little
sep 20, 2009
Image
THE HAUL: Drugs officer with the plants
A CHINESE peasant, who ran a £120,000 cannabis farm from a luxury home in Sauchie, was jailed for four years last week.

Minhua Chen oversaw the day-to-day operation of the "highly sophisticated" indoor drug farm on behalf of Triad gangmasters.
He mixed nutrients in the bathroom and fed them through intricate water tubes into "bank upon bank" of cannabis plants packed into all six bedrooms of the house, built only four years earlier on posh Whiteyetts Drive, Sauchie.

His secret garden - complete with special lighting, compost and fertiliser - was discovered after nearby homeowners reported "strange activity and odd smells" at the house.

When police attended they detected a "strong smell of cannabis" from outside the detached home - and obtained a search warrant.

After breaking down the door they found illegal immigrant Chen - who was brought to Britain by people traffickers in 2000 - cowering behind upturned bedroom furniture in the living room.

Stirling Sheriff Court was told that a total of 249 cannabis plants were being tended by Chen.

Each one, grown to maturity, would have yielded three ounces of the active drug -- a total of nearly three-and-a-half-stone of highly-psychotropic "skunk" cannabis with a street value of £119,520.

Police said the cultivation was "linked to organised criminals from South East Asia including China and Vietnam".

Keri Marshall, prosecuting, said: "Residents in the street raised suspicions regarding activity at the house as all the windows were covered and there were no signs of life other than occasional visits from South-East Asian men.

"A search of the house revealed that the six bedrooms had been converted and
were being used to grow cannabis plants.

"All the 249 plants were healthy and around half way through their 12 week growth cycle and were flowering to a significant degree."

Miss Marshall, the depute fiscal, said Chen was later interviewed and said he had been staying at the address for one to two months.

Miss Marshall said: "He said that people unknown to him visited every one to two weeks, and he claimed that he did not know what the plants were.

"He stated that he had asked the visiting men, but they had refused to divulge this information and told him he asked too many questions. The accused agreed that was suspicious.

"He stated that he watered the plants once per day and switched the lights on for 12 hours every day.

"He went on to say that he did not receive any payment for doing this - only his food and board.

"Police have confirmed that the accused would appear to have effectively been a gardener.

"The equipment recovered from the locus is worth a substantial amount of money, however it is not owned by the accused and the owner has not been identified.

"When he was charged the accused said he could not understand why he was being charged when he did not know what the cultivation was."

Chen, 43, a prisoner at HMP Barlinnie, pleaded guilty to producing cannabis between April 1 and May 21 at the house in Whiteyetts Drive, Sauchie.

His not guilty plea to being concerned in the supply of cannabis was accepted by the Crown.
Murray McAuley, defending, said Chen, a father of two, had been born to a farming family in China, one of ten siblings.

The lawyer said that against the background of a life "blighted by poverty", he had taken the drastic decision to enter Britain illegally, and was smuggled in "through the usual system of traffickers".

In London, he was befriended by "individuals" who let him stay at the house in Clackmannanshire on the condition that he looked after the plants that were already growing there.

Mr McAuley said: "He would have made no profit from the enterprise. He was quite clearly taken advantage of by a criminal gang who left him to take responsibility for their actions."

Sheriff Wyllie Robertson told Chen that he had been involved in a large-scale cannabis cultivation operation, and though he was a first offender and would not have shared in the profits of the scheme, no sentence other than prison was suitable.

He added that he would recommend Chen for deportation after his sentence.

He said: "You have pled guilty to an offence of such gravity that your continued presence in this country is against the national interest."

Goatee-bearded Chen said nothing as he was led to the cells by security guards.

Detective Inspector Ian Motion, head of Central Scotland Police's drugs unit, said: "This case shows, that with information received from communities, we will be unrelenting, and there is no hiding place from us."


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GangstersInc
Posted: Nov 10 2009, 04:28 AM


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China's 'godmother' sentenced to 18 years, state media says
November 4, 2009 -- Updated 0128 GMT (0928 HKT)
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China's underworld on trial
Video: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/...uption.caiping/

Beijing, China (CNN) -- A court sentenced a Chinese crime boss known as the "godmother of the underworld" to 18 years in prison Tuesday, state-run media reported.

Xie Caiping "was convicted of organizing and leading a criminal organization, running gambling dens, illegal imprisonment, harboring people taking illegal narcotics and giving bribes to officials," the Xinhua news agency reported. She was also fined 1.02 million yuan (about $150,000).

Twenty-one others were given jail terms ranging from one to 13 years by Chongqing No. 5 Intermediate People's Court.

A massive crackdown, which began in China's Chongqing municipality in June, has implicated millionaires, gangsters, and even police officers. Known as dahei or combat triads, the campaign has put the spotlight on organized crime and how it has infested local bureaucracy and businesses through bribery, extortion, blackmail and violence.

Police operations have led to the arrest of more than 4,800 suspected gangsters and the confiscation of 1,700 illegal firearms. Investigations led to many city officials, including police officers.

More trials are expected as the city fights at least 14 mafia-style gangs. Given China's opaque political world, it is notable that the trials are being extensively covered by the Chinese media.

For years after the Cultural Revolution, Chongqing languished as a decrepit mountain-city in Sichuan province, better known for its spicy food. It became the world's largest city in 1997 when the central government, by administrative edict, incorporated a huge area adjacent to the city into what is now Chongqing.

China's goal was to build Chongqing into a modern megacity that would serve as the new economic engine in central China. Over the years, thanks to the influx of corporate investments and central government funding in infrastructure projects, the city of 31 million has been at the center of an economic boom.

But the economic boom has also led to the resurgence of local gangs engaged in human and drug trafficking, illegal gambling, prostitution, extortion and protection rackets. Gangsters were blamed for heinous crimes of murder and kidnapping. Local officials were accused of "economic crimes"-- bribery, profiteering and corrupt behavior in public office, involving public funds and property.

Such abuses have prompted popular anger and social unrest.


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Hollander
Posted: Nov 27 2009, 06:22 PM


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Nov 18, 2009



Mafias expose China's legal woes
By Willy Lam

The ongoing campaign against triads, or Chinese-style mafias, in the western China metropolis of Chongqing is the largest such operation since 1949. Yet what renders this so-called "anti-triad tornado" (fanhei fengbao) so disturbing is not simply that close to 3,000 big-time criminals have been nabbed by authorities, but that the Chongqing disaster has laid bare the full extent of the collusion between organized crime on the one hand, and senior officers in the police and judiciary on the other.

Even more shocking is the fact that what the local media calls "dark and evil forces" have become so entrenched and prevalent in this megacity of 34 million people that it required a directive from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) politburo standing committee - the highest level decision-making body in the state - before sufficient law-enforcement resources could be mobilized to




combat the well-heeled - and well-connected - syndicates.

The scale of Chongqing's triad operations can be gleaned from the fact that 1.7 billion yuan (US$250 million) of ill-gotten gains have so far been uncovered from 24 crime bosses. According to the official China News Service, triads have infiltrated business sectors including finance, transport, construction and engineering, entertainment, restaurants and retailing.

More than 200 mid-to-high-ranking officials in the Chongqing police and judicial departments are under investigation for sheltering or otherwise abetting the felons. These bad apples include the former head of the Chongqing Judicial Bureau, Wen Qiang, and the former deputy head of the Chongqing Public Security Bureau, Peng Changjian.

Wen, who is also a former police chief, has admitted to taking bribes and gifts totaling nearly 100 million yuan. The corrupt cadre even threatened interrogators that he would spill the beans on a number of more senior officials if he were given the death sentence. "If you sentence me to death," he reportedly said. "I'll reveal everything - then everybody will die together!"

While Wen might have been bluffing, there is now no denying that the triads have been operating in Chongqing for more than two decades - and that they had, for reasons that are coming to light, been tolerated by the municipality's top party and government leaders. Most of the 24 triad chieftains started their careers in Chongqing, and they have been expanding their empires in the metropolis since the early 1990s.

These billionaire thugs include Li Qiang, a well-known business tycoon in transportation and real estate who had been repeatedly appointed a delegate to the Chongqing People's Congress. Another criminal, Xie Caiping, ran underground casinos - a few of them in five-star downtown hotels - in Chongqing for years. Since Chongqing gained the status of a municipality (with the same "administrative ranking" as Beijing and Shanghai) in 1997, its party secretaries have included such luminaries as He Guoqiang (now a member of the politburo standing committee in charge of fighting corruption) and Wang Yang (politburo member and party secretary of Guangdong).

Current party secretary, Bo Xilai, who is also a politburo member, has been in charge of Chongqing for two years. It is well-nigh impossible that He, Wang and Bo had not been knowledgeable about the triad problems in Chongqing. The officials' complicit attitude raises the question, why did the authorities wait until early summer before taking action?

While meeting a group of foreign reporters recently, Bo, a former minister of commerce known for his flamboyant lifestyle, had some surprising things to say about the triad scourge. The politburo member admitted that "it wasn't [sic] us officials who wanted to take the initiative in fighting the triads; the 'dark and evil' forces have put so much pressure on us that there is nothing we can do [except combating them]." Bo added: "Chongqing residents often come to the municipal government office, holding photographs that are full of bloody bodies ... The triads are chopping up people, just like butchers killing animals. It is unbearable."

On another occasion, Bo said that cadres "must absolutely not adopt a gentle and tolerant stance toward triads". "While we may be gentle, the triads will never be gentle," he said. "Permissiveness toward the minority means injustice for the majority." Bo's extraordinary frank words suggest that there is a well-entrenched practice among cadres to treat crime syndicates with kid gloves.

Hong Kong papers have reported that the Chongqing "anti-triad tornado" was made possible only after President Hu Jintao had personally given approval to the unprecedented crackdown. Bo indirectly confirmed this by saying late last month that the "anti-triad operation was handled by the party central leadership" and that it was "not a case of Chongqing trying to set a sensational example".

While Bo seems to be striking a delicate balance between praising Beijing's leadership on the one hand and claiming credit for having done the right thing on the other, neither the CCP authorities nor the gung-ho regional "warlord" has been able to reassure the nation about the viability of China's legal apparatus.

The CCP's apparently permissive attitude toward triads stands in stark contrast to the "zero tolerance" strategies that the police, state-security agents and the People's Armed Police have adopted toward other so-called "destabilizing agents" in society. The latter include dissidents, activist lawyers as well as non-governmental organization activists, in addition to alleged "splittists", or pro-independence elements in Xinjiang and Tibet. For example, in the run-up to the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China on October 1, several liberal intellectuals were detained by police and subsequently given hefty prison terms.

Their "crime" is nothing more than writing articles urging a faster pace of political reform. So what underpins the authorities' surprising tolerance for underground criminal gangs? It seems that a sizeable number of cadres consider triads a useful tool for maintaining socio-political stability. For example, police and state-security units in many cities and counties often employ triads to do "dirty jobs".

Thus, gang members are used extensively in "land grab" cases - whereby corrupt officials who are colluding with real-estate developers force residents of old buildings (or farmers in the villages) to vacate their dwelling in return for extremely low compensation. When the concerned residents or villagers refuse to budge or hold demonstrations, they are often intimidated and beaten up by triads. No wonder then that the former minister of public security, Tao Siju, said in 1993 that "the triads are patriotic elements".

Irrespective of what individual party cadres may think of the "useful role" of triads, the fact that Beijing had repeatedly procrastinated in tackling organized crime has raised big questions about the CCP leadership's willingness and ability to enforce the law. Even after the Chongqing triads became big news in early summer, politburo standing committee member, Zhou Yongkang, who heads the Central Commission on Political and Legal Affairs (CCPLA), waited until the end of October before announcing a nationwide crackdown.

"We must get to the bottom of the task of wiping out all triad and evil forces," Zhou said. "And we must nab all those [officials] who provide shelter to the criminals." Characterizing the anti-triad operation as a minxin gongcheng, or "an engineering project to warm the hearts of the people", Zhou pledged that police departments and bureaus in every province and city would pull out all the stops in exterminating the gangs.

China's increasingly vocal netizens, however, could not help criticizing the cavalier attitude of Zhou and his colleagues. This was evident in many postings in popular chatrooms such as that run by People's Daily Online. "Fighting triads is the basic responsibility of every policeman," went one comment. "How come Zhou called this an 'engineering project'?" Another angry netizen had this to say about corrupt police officers sheltering triads: "Those who are charged with fighting triads have themselves become triad members. Rice in the granaries will naturally be depleted if you ask mice to guard them."

An allied issue is whether senior officials in Chongqing - and leading cadres in units such as the CCPLA and the Ministry of Public Security - have to take administrative or political responsibility for the triad scourge throughout the country. After all, a centerpiece for political reform since the turn of the century has been to enforce "administrative responsibility". This means that cadres guilty of dereliction of duty or failing to measure up to minimal standards of performance should be sacked, demoted or given warnings. In the past four years, the authorities have investigated some 400,000 cases of civil servants and cadres who are suspected of failing to fulfill administrative responsibilities. A much-cited recent example is Zhang Heping, the party secretary in charge of the No 2 Prison in Huhhot, Inner Mongolia. Zhang was fired last month soon after four felons in the prison escaped after killing a prison guard.

While the apparent success of Chongqing's anti-triad crusade might have lifted Bo Xilai's political fortune, the eldest son of party elder Bo Yibo is careful to be seen as giving all credit to Beijing. Chongqing authorities have also emphasized that previous party secretaries and mayors of the municipality have played a pivotal role in at least monitoring the activities of the gangs.

Apart from the age factor - Bo will be 63 by the time the 18th CCP Congress is held in 2012 and thus may be deemed too old to be inducted into the politburo standing committee - the high-profile princeling has continued to suffer from his tendency to shoot from the hip. For example, his assertion which suggested that Chongqing authorities were forced into taking action against the triads has given the impression that the party boss has been lax and weak in the face of serious law-and-order problems. In the final analysis, Bo - together with his politburo colleagues - has to share the blame for the further erosion of the ruling party's credibility.

Dr Willy Wo-Lap Lam is a Senior Fellow at The Jamestown Foundation. He has worked in senior editorial positions in international media including Asiaweek newsmagazine, South China Morning Post, and the Asia-Pacific Headquarters of CNN. He is the author of five books on China, including the recently published Chinese Politics in the Hu Jintao Era: New Leaders, New Challenges. Lam is an Adjunct Professor of China studies at Akita International University, Japan, and at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

(This article first appeared in The Jamestown Foundation. Used with permission.)


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Hollander
Posted: Dec 30 2009, 07:23 AM


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ASIA NEWS
DECEMBER 30, 2009.
Gangster Trials Highlight China's Crime Battle
By SKY CANAVES

BEIJING -- A series of criminal trials in Chongqing, one of China's biggest cities, is spotlighting a byproduct of the country's rapid social and economic change: the spread of organized crime.

The court in Chongqing, a city of more than 30 million people, is expected to reach verdicts in coming weeks on the charges against two prominent defendants.

Wen Qiang, the former head of Chongqing's municipal justice department, is charged with using his official position to provide protection to organized-crime gangs. Li Qiang, a billionaire businessman who was until recently a member of the local legislature, faces nine charges, including organizing and leading criminal gangs, bribery and tax evasion.

Officials say the two men ran an underworld empire that included prostitution rings, illegal casinos, bribery and murder.

View Full Image

AP

Xie Caiping, dubbed the 'godmother' of a mafia-style gang, stands trial with other suspects in Chongqing, China last month.
.The Chongqing crackdown is the largest local operation against organized crime in 60 years of Communist Party rule, according to Wang Li, a law professor at Southwest University in Chongqing. Some 800 people have been formally arrested and more than 2,000 others detained. A dozen high-ranking officials and hundreds of civil servants have been implicated.

The trials have focused national attention on a scourge that has mushroomed since China began economic reforms in the late 1970s. The situation has worsened over the past decade, as rapid development -- combined with loosening controls on individuals, limited law-enforcement resources and widespread corruption -- has created an environment in which gangsters thrive, often in collusion with local authorities, say experts.

While experts say gang activity doesn't appear to have infiltrated the highest levels of China's government, it is an increasing challenge for China's Communist Party, which rates public anger about corruption as a major potential threat to its rule.

In Chongqing, Bo Xilai, a former commerce minister installed as the city's chief in 2007, has turned up the heat on the issue. "The mafia crackdown is emphatically demanded by the people, as revealed to us by the numerous blood-shedding crimes," he is quoted as saying by the central Communist Party Web site.

The government says police have broken up nearly 13,000 gangs and detained 870,000 suspects since the latest nationwide crackdown began in early 2006. Some 89,000 of those had been formally arrested as of September, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

"Organized crime in China is coming back with a vengeance," says Ko-lin Chin, a criminologist at Rutgers University who studies Chinese gangs.

In addition to infiltrating Chongqing's government, organized crime has moved into sectors from property development to privately run bus routes to pork products, officials say.

Mr. Wen's sister-in-law, known as "the Godmother of Chongqing," has already been sentenced to 18 years in prison and fined around one million yuan ($146,000) after her conviction on charges including organizing and leading a criminal group, operating illegal casinos, illegal imprisonment and bribing officials. A pair of 23-year-old twins received sentences of 17 years apiece on convictions of organizing and leading a criminal group and intentional injury of others, among other charges.

Judicial and law-enforcement officials in Chongqing have declined to comment on the cases.

Since the Chongqing trials began in October, dozens of gang members elsewhere in China have also been sentenced, with at least 18 receiving death penalties.

.In early December, a court in the southwestern city of Kunming sentenced five people to death for involvement in a gang that dealt in drugs, counterfeit money, fraud and racketeering. In southern China, a court in Yangjiang sentenced five men, including mob bosses nicknamed "Hammerhead" and "Spicy Qin," to death for murder and for running a massive illegal gambling empire. In Sichuan, police arrested 85 people in what officials called the largest drug bust in China's history.

Organized crime was rampant in China before the communists took over in 1949, but was largely extinguished in the decades afterward by the totalitarian Maoist state. It has flourished since reforms began in the late 1970s.

Chinese police receive small salaries but enjoy almost unchecked power over the increasingly wealthy communities they oversee. As a result, bribery is common, experts say. Without protection from law enforcement, "criminal organizations would not be able to develop on such a large scale and to such a high level," says Pu Yongjian, a professor at the business school of Chongqing University.

In some cases, police are discouraged by local governments from cracking down on prostitution, gambling and loan-sharking, as long as violence isn't involved, says Mr. Chin of Rutgers.

"These are very profitable businesses," he says. "They support the local economies and are seen as part of a transition period towards development. There is a boundary -- kind of an implicit understanding -- between local officials and mafia-like gangs."

At times, ties between gangsters and governments have eroded public trust, sometimes pushing individuals to take matters into their own hands.

In September 2008, 18-year-old Zhang Xuping, of Xiashuixi village in Shanxi province, stabbed the local party chief to death. Villagers allege the official ran a gang that used harassment and violence to take over their farmland. Mr. Zhang's mother, Wang Hou'e, had previously spent a year in detention after she complained to authorities about property damage she attributed to the party boss.

Officials in the district government that administers Xiashuixi declined to comment.

"I wish that we would have as aggressive a crackdown in our area as there is in Chongqing," says Ms. Wang. "My true feeling is that the mafia forces will not only continue to exist, but become even more rampant."

—Sue Feng contributed to this article.

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Junior
Posted: Apr 18 2010, 02:04 PM


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Hollander
Posted: May 3 2010, 04:32 AM


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Politicians, gangsters mix at funeral for Taiwan mafia boss
AFP
April 27, 2010, 9:40 am

TAICHUNG, Taiwan (AFP) - Senior Taiwanese politicians rubbed shoulders with mob bosses at the funeral on Monday of one of the island's most prominent mafia leaders.

The Buddhist service for Lee Chao-hsiung, who died of liver cancer last month, attracted a gathering of more than 20,000 people in the central city of Taichung, organisers said.

The funeral procession was led by a motorcade of black limousines -- totalling 108, a symbolic number in Chinese Buddhism -- while long-legged models carried placards with the names of companies paying tribute to the late Lee.

Taichung Mayor Jason Hu, a former foreign minister, was among the mourners, saying his attendance was a sign of gratitude after Lee left 60 million Taiwan dollars (almost two million US dollars) for charities in his will.

"I felt I had to come to express my thanks," Hu told reporters. "When the man left this world, he used this way to show his concern for society."

The political establishment was also represented by parliamentary speaker Wang Jin-pyng, a ranking member of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party, as well as politicians from the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Ties between politicians and criminals are strong in Taiwan, especially at the local level, triggering concern about the erosion of the island's democracy.

The mafia helps candidates secure votes via bribes or intimidation, and the elected politicians pay back the mob by protecting it from law enforcement agencies and the courts.

Mafia members are sometimes respected members of the local communities, reflecting the importance of clans and secret societies in traditional Chinese culture.

"Why have so many people come to pay tribute to him? Maybe it's worth thinking about. I think he should be considered more than a gang leader," said a member of organising committee, who declined to give his name.

Taiwan's three main criminal organisations, the Bamboo Union, the Four Seas Triad and the Celestial Way, sent representatives to the funeral of Lee, who was the head of the Big Lake gang.

Members of Japan's feared mafia, dressed in black suits, were also among the guests. Gangsters from Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia and Thailand completed the picture of a who's who of organised crime in Asia.

Dozens of police officers were stationed near the funeral venue, many equipped with walkie-talkies and cameras.

"We're here to maintain order and to collect information," said one policeman, declining to give his name.

Lee was best known for helping to negotiate the release of a number of kidnapped politicians and businessmen, including Taichung city council speaker Chang Hung-nien.

Police have declined to comment on Lee's criminal record, but according to a source who has followed his career closely, but asked not to be identified, Lee spent time in jail on charges of gambling and firearms smuggling.

The influence of gangsters dates back to the 1970s when the KMT started using the strength of gangs to dominate local politics, according to Chao Yung-mau, an expert on the influence of gangs on Taiwan politics.

That influence has remained intact although the island was ruled for eight years until 2008 by the DPP, which rose to power partly on a promise to reform the political system, said Chao, of the National Taiwan University.

"Sadly, the DPP hasn't done any better. In order to gain victory in elections, it easily absorbed some former KMT politicians with criminal records," he said.
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Junior
Posted: Feb 14 2011, 06:01 PM


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Trial of Alleged Crime Mob Opens in SW China
CRIEnglish.Com
2011/2/14

Eighteen people went on trial Monday on organized crime charges in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality as the local authority continued its campaign against gang crime.

Huang Changhua, the alleged gang leader, and 17 other people faced eight charges, including assault, illegal trading of firearms, organizing a criminal gang, managing a gambling den, perjury, and drug-related crimes, at the Chongqing No. 5 Intermediate People's Court.

Huang and his gang were involved in a series of crimes from 2003 to 2009 and had seriously disturbed the social and economic order of Chongqing's Fuling District, the prosecutor said.

The trial was expected to last four days, court officials said.

Chongqing police launched a high-profile crackdown on gang crime in July 2009.

More than 90 local officials were prosecuted and 42 were found guilty of sheltering criminal gangs in a wave of prosecutions. The highest official to fall was Wen Qiang, former director of the Chongqing Municipal Judicial Bureau. He was executed in July last year after being convicted of corruption and organized crime charges.
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Junior
Posted: Jun 10 2011, 02:55 AM


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China 'fake fines' gang members arrested across Asia
BBC News, June 10, 2011

Hundreds of Chinese and Taiwanese citizens have been arrested in countries throughout Asia over a scam involving fake fines.

Police say the suspects contacted people in China and Taiwan and extorted money from them by claiming they had been issued with court summonses.

Some 170 suspects were held in Indonesia, and 166 more were arrested in Cambodia.

There were also arrests in Thailand and the Malaysian city of Kota Kinabalu.

Senior Malaysian police official Syed Ismail Syed Azizan said the gang would call their victims - most of whom were in China - and route calls through the internet to make it appear as if they were local.

"They would pose as a court officer and contact their victims claiming that one of their family members had been charged in court for an offence," he said.

"They would then provide a false number and when the victims call the number, they would be asked to pay a certain fee via a bank account in order to cancel the summonses."

The callers would also pretend that their victims owed traffic fines, according to a report in Malaysia's New Straits Times newspaper.

Thai police said the gang was also involved in scams where they would pose as bank staff.

Officials say thousands of people in China may have been taken in by the scammers.

Cambodian police chief Kirt Chantharith said the suspects would be sent back to China after being questioned.

"In principle, we will repatriate them back to face trial under Chinese law, but we don't know when we will do that because the investigation is still ongoing," he told the Phnom Penh Post.

Chinese officials have yet to comment on the case.
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Junior
Posted: Jul 10 2011, 04:42 AM


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26 face drug, gambling charges
By David Abel, Globe Staff
Boston.Com, July 9, 2011

A series of federal indictments has charged 26 people with working for organized crime groups in Chinatown, selling drugs such as ecstasy, sending prostitutes across state lines, money laundering, and illegal gambling.

In a sworn statement released yesterday, FBI agent Thomas Conboy said the long-term investigation into the alleged crime ring has so far resulted in the seizure of $340,000, 13 guns, about 13,000 suspected oxycodone pills, and “extensive evidence’’ of illegal gambling and prostitution.

Prosecutors declined to speak about the indictments or ongoing investigation, and many details remained unclear. But in his statement in court documents, Conboy described alleged connections between crime rings in the Boston and New York Chinatowns.

He said some of the indicted men bragged about smuggling Chinese nationals into the United States and running gambling dens off Harrison Avenue, where they sometimes earned tens of thousands of dollars from high-stakes pai gow and mahjong games.

The indictments, two of which were unsealed July 1 and the other in May, also accuse the defendants of distributing marijuana and human growth hormone, and engaging in extortion.

Of those charged, 23 have been arrested.

Prosecutors said there will be a joint detention hearing Tuesday in US District Court in Boston for five of the men, four of whom - Minh Cam Luong, Songzeng Cao, Yao Cao, and Hin Pau - are being charged with extortion and one, Vapeng Joe, is being charged with operating a gambling business.

None of the men indicted could be reached for comment.

Conboy said in his statement that much of the information came from a confidential informant and secret video recordings, which captured conversations that appear to involve prospective crimes.

Conboy described an incident last October in which one of the indicted men, Hin Pau, who allegedly served as an enforcer for one of the crime leaders, confronted a Vietnamese man in an alleged gambling den about an unpaid debt.

“Pau fought with the man in the gambling den, and then had told one of his associates to get a ‘piece of metal,’ meaning a gun, which [the informant] was told was being kept nearby in case of need.’’

It was not clear from Conboy’s statement whether the man was shot.

In another incident described in Conboy’s statement, one of the defendant’s is described discussing drug transactions and other illicit business from a hospital bed at Boston Medical Center, apparently after having coronary bypass surgery.

The most recent indictment came on June 30, when a grand jury charged Yue Q. He and Wei Xing Chen with selling ecstasy in Boston. The indictment charged those men as well as Xiaohong Xue with running a brothel business in Boston and Cambridge.

Arrest warrants have been issued for Yue Q. He, Xiaohong Xue, and Peter Melendez.

Derege Demissie, a Boston lawyer representing Chen, said his client has denied the charges.

“There are a number of people involved,’’ Demissie said. “Somehow he was swept up in the charges.’’
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Chinatown Gangs in Boston Busted

Read more at: http://gangstersinc.ning.com/profiles/blog...gangs-in-boston


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Posted: Jul 15 2011, 03:19 PM


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US prosecutors fight bail for Cambridge man in gang case
By Milton J. Valencia, Globe Staff / July 15, 2011

Federal prosecutors argued yesterday that a Cambridge man accused of running several brothels - part of a series of recent arrests alleging organized crime by Asian gangs in Boston’s Chinatown - is a career criminal who should be held without bail pending trial.

Authorities said Wei Xing Chen, 50, was the head of one of three groups that interacted and ran criminal enterprises for the past several years in Chinatown.

Chen, who is also known as Lo Gai and Lo Biu, faces charges of conspiracy to distribute ecstasy and of conspiracy to move prostitutes between different locations.

The charge of moving prostitutes elevates the seriousness of the case from a state charge of running a brothel.

“He’s really a career criminal,’’ Assistant US Attorney Timothy Moran said in court yesterday, arguing that Chen should remain behind bars. “He has no legitimate occupation. He doesn’t do anything legitimate. His whole life is involved in crime. He knows he’s breaking the law and it just doesn’t matter to him.’’

Moran said Chen could face as many as six years in federal prison.

Prosecutors said Chen worked with a cousin out of New York City to sell ecstasy. The cousin, Tong Chen, faces charges in New York but fled to China.

Chen also allegedly ran several brothels in Cambridge and Boston and has been charged with bringing Chinese woman into the area to work as prostitutes. Prosecutors said that when they raided one of the brothels, they found several prostitutes and customers.

A separate search of a safe deposit box at a Cambridge bank turned up $100,000 in cash, prosecutors said.

But Chen’s lawyer, Derege Demissie, argued in court yesterday that the allegations are not as serious as prosecutors say and that his client is being wrapped up in a wider crackdown on organized crime in Chinatown.

“Mr. Chen’s family paints a picture of a person far different from what’s painted by the government,’’ Demissie said, noting several of Chen’s family members were in the courtroom to offer support.

He proposed that Chen be released on $50,000 bond, under the condition that he surrender his passport, stay with family members, stay away from any codefendants in the case, and seek to obtain a job.

US Magistrate Judge Jennifer Boal took the matter under advisement.

Prosecutors said Chen ran one of three groups that have been indicted since May on charges of gambling, prostitution, and drug dealing, with connections between New York City and Boston’s Chinatown.

A total of 26 people have been indicted.

Federal investigators said one of the groups conspired to sell drugs including oxycodone, marijuana, and human-growth hormone.

A separate group ran gambling rackets, prosecutors said.

Judge Boal is deciding whether to grant bail for some defendants in those cases, and detention hearings have yet to be held for other defendants.

But Moran argued yesterday that Chen’s disregard for the law should be enough to keep him held pending trial.
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Chinatown gang leader extradited from Canada to face federal murder charges
BY Thomas Zambito, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER, Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Chinatown gang leader who went on the run after a double murder at a Queens karaoke club in 2004 has been extradited from Canada to face federal murder charges.

Xing Lin, 39, who was busted in Toronto in April, was arraigned in Manhattan Federal Court yesterday.

The feds say Lin and accomplice Hao (Little Beijing) Chao conspired to kill rival Chang Qin Zhou during a bloody turf war over the unlicensed bus company business.

Lin suspected Zhou, 32, was stealing away some of his clients and territory, the feds say.

During the early-morning shootout in Flushing's Red Rose Club, Chao repeatedly shot Zhou in the chest from a few feet away, while Lin urged Chao to "finish him," Manhattan federal prosecutors say.

Caught in the crossfire was waitress Mei Ying Li, 37, who was fatally shot in the head. Another waitress was shot in the leg by a bullet that passed through Zhou, police say.
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China arrests more than 2,000 in sweeping crackdown on gang-related crime
By the Associated Press, The Washington Post, September 16, 2011

BEIJING — China’s security body says it has arrested nearly 2,200 people as part of a nationwide crackdown on gang-related crime.

A report posted Friday on China’s Ministry of Public Security website says police in 11 regions have arrested 2,182 suspects and uprooted 270 gangs since Sept. 1.

The state-run China Daily newspaper says the campaign has been aimed at cracking down on corruption, gambling and other gang-related crimes.

A similar campaign last year broke up more than 1,500 mafia-style gangs. It exposed syndicates in cities such as Chongqing that were protected by government officials and police officers.

Chongqing’s former police chief Wen Qiang was executed after being convicted of bribery, rape and extortion.
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Vietnamese gang leader pleads guilty to murder
By Sara Jean Green, Seattle Times
Thursday, October 13, 2011

Quy Nguyen, the leader of a Vietnamese street gang whose trial in King County Superior Court began Wednesday, pleaded guilty Thursday to second-degree murder with a firearm and conspiracy to commit organized crime.

Nguyen — the leader of Young Seattle Boyz who operated marijuana grow houses and ordered a hit on victim Hoang Nguyen in January 2007 — also agreed to plead guilty in federal court to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, according to his plea statement.

King County prosecutors will recommend that Nguyen be sentenced to 25 years in prison, a term that will run concurrent to his federal prison sentence, the statement says.

Last Friday, Jerry Henry Thomas III — the hired hit man who fatally shot Hoang Nguyen outside his Tukwila apartment complex — pleaded guilty to second-degree murder with a firearm. Prosecutors will recommend a 23-year sentence for Thomas, 25, said Dan Donohoe, spokesman for King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg.

Last week, another defendant in the case, Le Nhu Le, 43, pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy to commit leading organized crime in the state case and in federal court to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana.

As part of the plea deal, Le was to testify against Nguyen and Thomas during both the Superior Court and federal trials.

Prosecutors have recommended he serve a total of five years in prison.

Opening statements in the case against Nguyen were held Wednesday before Superior Court Judge Julie Spector and the trial was expected to last six to eight weeks.
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Posted: Jan 11 2012, 08:25 AM


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Triad gang smashed, 222 arrested in Hong Kong police operation
M&C, January 10, 2012

Hong Kong - Hong Kong police have arrested 222 people and smashed a triad gang believed to be involved in illegal gambling, smuggling, drug trafficking and vice, police said Tuesday.

The arrests, which include nine alleged key gang members, followed a two-year operation by undercover police and were made over the New Year holiday and the first week of January by the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau.

Cash, drugs, obscene DVDs and cigarettes worth 700,000 Hong Kong dollars (90,110 US dollars) plus weapons were also seized, the police spokesman said.

Of those arrested, 22 have been charged and have already appeared in court. A further 30 members of the alleged gang are still on the run.

Triad gangs are secret societies involved in drug trafficking, prostitution and protection rackets and are believed to be responsible for about 3 per cent of all crime in Hong Kong.
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Posted: Mar 4 2012, 06:43 PM


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Police smash Chinese gangs
'Rising' turf war in Milan, they say

(ANSA) - Milan, March 2 - Italian police on Friday smashed Chinese gangs across Italy suspected of preying on their communities, drug pushing and running prostitution and gambling rackets.

More than 30 young Chinese were arrested in the operation which focused on Milan, where police said the gangs had converged in a "rising" turf war, and also covered the cities of Turin, Genoa, Cremona, Teramo and Frosinone. The operation came after a string of recent attacks in Milan in which gang members were wounded.

http://wwwext.ansa.it/web/notizie/rubriche..._126395888.html[B][/B][B]
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Twenty-Nine Charged in New Jersey for Related, International Schemes to Import Counterfeit Goods and Drugs, Launder Profits


NEWARK, NJ—Federal agencies coordinating parallel international investigations have disrupted massive conspiracies to import hundreds of millions of dollars in counterfeit goods from China and illegal drugs from Taiwan to the United States, New Jersey United States Attorney Paul J Fishman and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Executive Associate Director James A Dinkins announced.

Law enforcement used undercover agents and court-authorized wiretaps to uncover two elaborate schemes to defeat federal border and port security measures at Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Of the 29 individuals charged in New Jersey in an indictment and three criminal complaints as a result of those investigations, 23 are currently in federal custody.

Federal agents arrested Hui Sheng Shen, a/k/a “Charlie,” and Huan Ling Chang, a/k/a “Alice,” on Saturday, February 25, 2012 in New York. Soon Ah Kow, indicted in January 2012, was also arrested Saturday in Manila, the Philippines. Twenty defendants were arrested this morning in a coordinated, multi-agency takedown.

Six of the charged defendants remain at large.

The federal investigations into the smuggling of counterfeit goods also uncovered an alleged scheme to import 50 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine. Approximately one kilogram of nearly pure crystal meth was purchased from the defendants as part of the operation, which stopped the importation of dozens of additional kilograms of the drug.

In addition to the arrests, federal authorities are seeking to seize and forfeit all proceeds of the counterfeiting scheme and property used to commit the counterfeiting scheme, including automobiles, United States currency, other valuables, and the home of one of the leaders of the counterfeiting ring.

The 19 defendants arrested locally are scheduled to appear before United States Magistrate Judges Cathy L Waldor and Michael A Shipp beginning this afternoon in Newark federal court. Other defendants are expected to appear in the districts where they were arrested.

“The cost of counterfeit goods is not limited to massive financial harm to American businesses and consumers,” said United States Attorney Fishman. “Criminals can exploit the same channels to import other material that threatens our health and safety.

We remain dedicated, through global, inter-agency cooperation and long-term investigations like this one, to ensuring that criminals who see the ports as a gateway to America’s black market instead face American justice.”

“Thanks to the efforts of HSI and our law enforcement partners, we were able to take down a massive counterfeit smuggling enterprise—a scheme involving individuals who were stealing corporate identities and smuggling counterfeit merchandise out of China,” said HSI Executive Associate Director James Dinkins. “Had they not been caught, approximately $300 million worth of illicit goods would have been smuggled into our country. The enormity of this case—and the fact that we followed the investigative leads directly to the source in China, where so many counterfeit goods originate—is a stern warning to counterfeiters and smugglers everywhere. We are vigilantly watching our ports of entry for criminal activity that undermines legitimate commerce and potentially threatens the security of the United States.”

“CBP is on the front line of intellectual property rights enforcement, partnering with other federal agencies, industry and foreign governments to fight cross-border trade in counterfeit and pirated goods.

We are proud to have been part of this important effort to safeguard our nation,” said Robert E Perez, CBP Director, New York Field Operations.

According to the criminal complaints and indictment unsealed today:

Patrick Siu et al. scheme

An investigation led by HSI uncovered a massive scheme to smuggle counterfeit goods manufactured in China into the United States through containers falsely associated with legitimate importers. The investigation was supported by officers from CBP, who helped target, identify, and process the suspect containers. Many of the containers of goods were worth millions of dollars each and together had an estimated retail value of more than $300 million were they legitimate.

The conspirators used stolen corporate identities and false personal identification documents to compromise security at Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal to help import and attempt to import more than 135 containers of counterfeit goods—primarily Coach, Louis Vuitton, and other handbags; footwear such as UGG boots and Nike sneakers; and clothing—into the United States.

The conspirators concealed the counterfeit goods, among other ways, by using generic outer lids on boxes and generic labels on products to hide the counterfeit brand name labels beneath.

Once the products cleared the ports, the conspirators would remove the outer lids and cut off the generic labels.

Some conspirators obtained the information of legitimate companies and used it on false shipping paperwork. They then managed the flow of false paperwork between China and the United States and supervised the importation of counterfeit goods. Others created and used false and fraudulent personal identification documents, such as Social Security cards, to continue the scheme.

Other conspirators managed the distribution of the goods after they arrived in the United States, delivering them to warehouses and distributing them throughout New Jersey, New York and elsewhere.

Conspirators acting as wholesalers obtained counterfeit goods from the directors of the scheme and supplied the retailers who sold them to the ultimate customers in the United States. Some members of the scheme then laundered the profits by wiring millions of dollars to China without reporting the funds as required by federal law.

Many used the profits of their crimes to maintain lavish lifestyles, buying luxury automobiles and tens of thousands of dollars in jewelry.

During the course of the investigation, the conspirators sought out undercover federal agents (the “ICE UCs”), who purported to have connections at the port allowing them to release containers that were on hold and pass them through to the conspirators.

The conspirators discussed expanding into other lines of counterfeit products, without regard to whether the counterfeit products harmed the health and safety of consumers in the United States.

For example, on December 7, 2010, Hai Yan Jiang spoke with Lin Wu, considering the importation of counterfeit cosmetics. Yan stated that the cosmetics were “counterfeit, but of good quality.” When Wu asked Yan whether these products would be harmful to the users, Yan said, “All I care about is to make money, other things do not matter.” When Wu stated that “business needs to be done with a clear conscience,” Yan replied, “Then go be a monk.”

The defendants and offenses charged in the complaint are outlined in a chart below.

Ning Guo et al. scheme

Simultaneously, the FBI was conducting a parallel investigation into targets operating a smuggling scheme at the port. As the investigations developed, law enforcement discovered targets that connected the conspiracies.

The FBI then joined together with ICE, CBP, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey to coordinate operations.

This scheme also involved a large-scale international counterfeit goods smuggling and distribution conspiracy and falsified shipping paperwork. As part of the investigation, law enforcement set up a front company as a purported importer of goods. Through the smuggling scheme, the conspirators imported over 35 containers of counterfeit goods with a retail value of over $25 million, including counterfeit Nike sneakers and UGG boots; Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Coach, and Gucci handbags; and cigarettes, among other items.

Some of the conspirators engaged in a conspiracy to launder what they believed to be the proceeds of narcotics and illegal gambling activity through banks in China, the United States and elsewhere.

The defendants and offenses charged in the complaint are outlined in a chart below.

Kow, Shen and Chang scheme

Soon Ah Kow—charged by indictment with drug importation, smuggling, and counterfeit goods trafficking offenses by a Newark federal grand jury on January 6, 2012—was arrested over the weekend following an operation by law enforcement which lured Kow from his residence in Hong Kong.

In February 2012, undercover law enforcement agents lured Kow, who was unaware he was indicted, to the Philippines under the guise of paying him for past transactions and discussing future illegal activities. The Department of Justice, working closely with the Philippine authorities, obtained a provisional arrest warrant for Kow, who was arrested by Philippine law enforcement agents as he stepped off his plane in Manila.

Kow is in the business of brokering international transactions of illegal goods.

Operating out of Southeast Asia, he has met with and introduced his co-conspirators to undercover federal agents (the “FBI UCs”) on numerous occasions for the purpose of importing counterfeit goods and narcotics from Asia to the United States.

The FBI learned in August 2008 that Kow was looking for assistance in importing several containers of counterfeit cigarettes and clearing them through customs. Depending on the size, each such container is worth approximately $2.5 million to $5 million.

Kow contacted FBI UCs posing as individuals who, with associates, could clear counterfeit goods through customs and have them removed from ports on both the east and west coasts of the United States. Kow and several of the conspirators charged in the Guo et al. complaint then used UCs to import several containers of counterfeit goods and counterfeit cigarettes worth millions of dollars.

In late 2010, Kow began discussions with FBI UCs about narcotics importation, meeting in February 2011 with FBI UCs in Manila, where he introduced them to his associates, Hui Sheng Shen and Huan Ling Chang.

In Manila, Kow told the FBI UCs that Shen and Chang represented the interests of Kow’s associates, wealthy narcotics dealers who had been trafficking drugs for over 25 years. Kow and Shen arranged for the delivery of a sample of crystal methamphetamine to the FBI UCs’ hotel lobby, which arrived within hours of a call Ah Kow placed to an associate in Hong Kong.

Following negotiations over recorded telephone calls and intercepted e-mails, the FBI UCs wired approximately $70,000 to a bank account in Taiwan to cover the price of one kilogram of crystal meth, shipping costs, and a broker’s fee for Kow. In July 2011, the UCs received a bill of lading for the container that included the meth, which arrived at the port on August 9, 2011. The drugs were discovered secreted within the container by CBP officers in the exact location described by Shen and Chang.

The meth was hidden inside closed bags of Chinese tea placed within a metal tower-type computer, which was then placed within the packaging for such a computer.

During negotiations for the one kilogram meth deal, Shen and Chang made clear they usually did larger transactions, but agreed to do a smaller transaction to establish trust among the parties. During recorded meetings with FBI UCs in February 2012, Shen and Chang finalized the negotiations for a series of large-scale international narcotics transactions, which would result in more than 50 kilograms of methamphetamine to be imported into the United States, and hundreds more sent to Japan and elsewhere. The defendants provided the FBI UCs with information for a bank account they had opened for these transactions.

http://7thspace.com/headlines/407229/twe...er_profits.html
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Posted: Apr 23 2012, 02:28 PM


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Belfast and Derry triads behind Ulster sex slave pop-up brothels
Belfast Telegraph, Monday April 23, 2012

Police believe triads have been forcing women into sex slavery in Londonderry and Belfast under threat of extreme violence, according to a Department of Justice vice report.

The report reveals the women were tricked into coming to Northern Ireland to “carry out cleaning and nannying jobs but were forced into prostitution through extreme violence” by triad gangs.

Pop-up brothels - operating for 2-4 weeks at a time - may also be in operation in the city, the report suggests, with the brothel-based prostitution exploiting mostly forgeign women, while the street prostitution is being dominated by local women.

Chinese ‘snakehead’ gangs - a branch of the notorious Triad organised crime group - are said to have been involved in smuggling prostitutes through Stranraer to destinations including Belfast and Londonderry, with local paramilitary groups also said to have been involved in the vice trade.

The research paper investigates a range of issues for women in Northern Ireland involved in prostitution and also contends local women are also being groomed and trafficked internally throughout Northern Ireland.

The report is based on the evidence of three PSNI officers responsible for investigating prostitution and human trafficking in Northern Ireland, two based in Belfast and one in Londonderry, amongst other sources.

It said the PSNI believed that “one prostitution ring was run by the Chinese mafia and that all of the rescued women were Chinese.

“They were tricked to come to Northern Ireland from England under the premise that they would be carrying out cleaning of nannying jobs. They were forced into prostitution through extreme violence,” a spokesman told the Londonderry Sentinel.

Another instance refers to young women being lured from London to become involved in prostitution in Londonderry, south Belfast and Newry. Both occurred within the last three years.

According to the study: “The trafficked women experienced violence and lived in fear of their lives. They were regularly moved around brothels to disorientate them, Financial records showed that one of the brothels made between £180,000 and £200,000 a year.”

Victims are often smuggled through “a significant trafficking route used by Chinese Snakehead gangs is Belfast to Stranraer, where victims are forced to hand in papers to those that control them” the report states.

The Chinese mafia are not the only group to be involved in vice here, with local paramilitaries are also reputed to have been involved.

A Commercial Sex Workers paper compiled for the Western Sexual Health Strategy Steering Group, from December 2008, showed that “one local voluntary organisation attempted to provide outreach to women involved in prostitution in Northern Ireland but was advised not to by the PSNI who confirmed that their safety would be at risk due to paramilitary involvement”.

Eddie Kerr, the former Director of the SEEDS, a multi-cultural support agency for ethnic minorities and migrant workers based in Londonderry, told the authors that brothels in the North West were highly mobile and were moving around to avoid detection.

“This makes it difficult for the PSNI to keep track of the number of brothels in Northern Ireland and suggests that any figures should be taken as an approximation.”

The PSNI Analysis Centre is currently undertaking research on vice trends throughout the province to get a better understanding of the number of illegal brothels here.

A spokesperson for the PSNI told the Sentinel: “Police take a proactive and robust approach to tackling the issues of human trafficking and vice in every part of Northern Ireland. We work with a range of partner agencies to ensure potential victims are treated properly and offered appropriate levels of care.
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Alleged Chinese-American Mobster Arrested in Southern China
By Wen Jun, Epoch Times Staff, June 29, 2012

When police in China’s Guangdong Province cracked down on Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials last week, they also arrested a prominent Chinese-American business owner Hu Weisheng, from Los Angeles.

The Guangdong provincial authorities dispatched over 300 armed police to Huizhou County and raided the Fuxing Company offices, owned by Hu. Officials said 43 people, including Hu, were arrested for alleged kidnappings, blackmail, arson, smuggling and operating illegal gambling operations.

Hu allegedly has a close relationship with Li Dawen, the Huizhou Political and Legislative Affairs Committee (PLAC) Party Secretary and chief of the Public Security Bureau, according to a report by the People Monitor Net, a media project dedicated to exposing government corruption. The PLAC, run by Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang, is a vast and powerful security apparatus. The report claims that Hu once gave an official, who works in Li’s office, a $157,000 luxury car as a gift.

Guangdong Communist Party Secretary Wang Yang has reportedly been on the warpath to take down current and former CCP officials in the province, on allegations of corruption and misuse of power.

In early 2012, Guangdong provincial authorities received a report that Hu was involved in several murders, which caught the attention of Wang Yang. When Wang’s office attempted to probe the matter, the local Public Security Bureau, headed by Li in Huizhou, resisted and prevented an investigation.

Li, who was removed from his post as head of the local Public Security Bureau, has told investigators working for Wang that Hu has a good reputation overseas as an honest businessman and a leader within the Chinese community, according to the People’s Supervision Network report. “You’d better get things right and not crack down on the wrong person,” Li said.

Chinese media reports said that Hu maintains a U.S. passport and has an English name, Vincent Wu. He has a number of official titles including: head of the China Unity Association of Greater Los Angeles, CEO of a company in Huizhou, and manager of a wholesale grocery market. Since the 1990s, Hu has also allegedly been involved in criminal activity, but he still enjoys a good reputation as an overseas Chinese community leader and philanthropist, according to a local Party newspaper in Huizhou.

Political researcher Peng Peng of the Guangzhou Institute of Social Sciences told Hong Kong-based Ming Pao Daily that since Hu was reportedly involved in philanthropic and criminal activities, he enjoys a “protection umbrella” provided by very high-ranking officials.

The connections between Hu, a prominent member of the Los Angeles overseas Chinese community, and the security services in China are not unique. Over the years a number of reports have emerged that the PLAC has insinuated itself with overseas Chinese leaders.

Security czar Zhou Yongkang was reportedly behind an attack on Falun Gong practitioners in the New York City neighborhood of Flushing in 2008, according to sources familiar with the matter, who spoke to The Epoch Times on condition of anonymity.

One individual said that Zhou sent his aide, Wang Minghua (an alias), to direct Chinese agents to attack Falun Gong practitioners in Flushing. Falun Gong is a meditation practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese regime since 1999.

Wang went back to Flushing in 2011, reportedly also at the behest of Zhou, to present a medal to Li Huahong, a woman who has been in court multiple times for attacking Falun Gong practitioners and runs a table distributing hate literature about the practice, for “Daring to Struggle.”
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Italy: Operation Dragon rounds up Chinese prostitution ring

Prato, 4 July (AKI) - Dozens of Chinese immigrants were arrested and thousands searched Wednesday throughout Italy on suspicion of myriad crimes including the exploitation of women for prostitution.
Annunci Google

Centred in the Tuscan city of Prato with arrests and checks in other parts of Italy, Operation Dragon seized 85 apartments believed to be used in the Chinese prostitution ring including massage centres investigators say were used as brothels.

Police made 50 arrests and ran checks another 2,750 suspects.
Customers were attracted by the use of call centres and announcements in local newspapers.

With a registered population of about 12,000, out of the city's total population of 210,00, Prato's has Italy's second-largest Chinese population after Milan. It has has the largest concentration of Chinese people in Italy, and as well as the whole continent of Europe.

Most of the prostitutes came to Italy from the southeast Chinese province of Zhejiang. They generally arrived in Italy legally but remained after the expiration of their visas.

Other crimes included the manufacturing of counterfeit clothing, illegal gambling and favouring illegal immigration.

http://www.adnkronos.com/IGN/Aki/English/S...3470454108.html
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Hong Kong drug operation hauls $98 million worth of cocaine

(CNN) -- A joint drug investigation in Hong Kong hauled a record cocaine shipment worth an estimated street value of U.S. $98 million, customs officials said.

The Customs Drug Investigation Bureau of Hong Kong seized 649 kilograms (about 1,425 pounds) of cocaine from a shipping container that arrived from Ecuador, Lee Cheung-wing, the head of the Custom Drug Investigation Bureau, said in a statement released Friday.

Three people, described by Lee, as "local men" were arrested in connection with the seizure, which occurred Wednesday and was made public Friday.
The drug operation began in April when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration began tipping Hong Kong authorities to the arrival of containers from South America, Lee said.

The tips that continued through June came as a result of a joint drug investigation, codenamed "Surfing Coke," that saw Hong Kong customs authorities partner with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to combat drug trafficking, Lee said.

Neither the DEA nor Customs and Border Protection released details on the drug operation, and their respective Washington offices did not immediately respond to request for comment early Saturday.

Hong Kong customs officials visited three South American countries where they met with their respective counterparts during the investigation, trips that were aimed at "enhancing the mutual anti-narcotics cooperation and intelligence exchange," Lee said.

The cocaine was in a shipment that arrived this week in Hong Kong from Guayaquil, Ecuador, according to Lee.
"Customs officials found inside the container 22 nylon bags containing a total of 541 slabs of cocaine," he said.

"In the afternoon on the same day, a container truck took the container and delivered it to a designated location for collection by two other men."
The 52-year-old driver and two other men, ages 34 and 37, face charges of drug trafficking. The three men were scheduled to appear in court to answer the charges on Sunday, Lee said.

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/07/07/world/as...zure/index.html
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Junior
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Hong Kong officers make city’s largest-ever cocaine bust
By Christine Roberts, New York Daily News
Friday, July 6, 2012

Hong Kong customs officers have made the city’s largest-ever cocaine bust, seizing about $98 million worth of the drug Wednesday.

About 1,430 pounds of cocaine coming from Ecuador arrived at a Hong Kong port Wednesday, John Lee, head of the Customs Drug Investigation Bureau, announced Friday.

Customs officers followed the record-breaking shipment as it was driven from the port to a location in Hong Kong’s rural New Territories, where it was picked up by two alleged members of a local drug syndicate.

Officers intercepted the truck, which contained 541 slabs of cocaine, each weighing about 1.2 kilograms and arrested the driver and the two men.

Lee said he believed the massive shipment, which was flagged by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for further inspection, was destined for Southeast Asia or mainland China.

Hong Kong customs officials have been working with South American authorities and the DEA since the beginning of the year to halt drug trafficking.

This is the city’s second drug seizure of the week.

A 63-year-old man arriving in Hong Kong from Brazil was thrown behind bars after he allegedly smuggled almost 2 kilograms of cocaine in his specially made underwear and shoes.

Wednesday’s cocaine bust broke last year’s record by about $20 million.

Eight people from the United States, Colombia and Mexico were arrested in September 2011 when 560 kilograms of cocaine were discovered in a suburban warehouse in Hong Kong.

Ecuador, which is between the world’s two largest producers of cocaine, Peru and Colombia, is frequently used by drug traffickers as a point of transport.
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Junior
Posted: Jul 7 2012, 10:15 PM


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Chinese police 'smash' trafficking gangs, frees 181
BBC News, July 6, 2012

Chinese police have broken up two major child trafficking gangs and freed 181 children, officials say.

Authorities arrested 802 suspects on Monday in an operation across the country, the Public Security Ministry said in a statement.

Kidnapped children are often sold for adoption, or as labour and household servants.

Child-trafficking has become a serious problem in China and critics blame the one-child policy and lax adoption laws.

These policies, some say, have created a thriving underground market for buying children.

A traditional preference for male heirs in China has created a thriving market for baby boys, says the BBC's Martin Patience in Beijing. Women and girls are often abducted to be labourers or wives.

In the latest operation, the children were rescued from traffickers in 15 regions and provinces, including Hebei, Shandong, Henan, Sichuan, Yunnan.

Investigations that led to the current round of arrests began in December 2011 when four suspects were caught in Henan province while attempting to sell four babies.

A ''most-wanted'' suspect, Shao Zhongyuan, was caught in Pingyi county, Shandong province, the ministry said.

He was alleged to be from a gang that trafficked more than 100 children. Several other key suspects were also detained, police said.

The ministry released a report in March 2011 saying that police rescued tens of thousands of abducted children and women.

It highlighted one raid against a gang trafficking Chinese women to Angola for prostitution, adding that 19 women were rescued and 16 people were arrested.

Greater freedom of movement as a result of China's economic reforms is thought to have also made it easier for trafficking gangs to operate.
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Junior
Posted: Jul 21 2012, 01:08 PM


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Chinatown murder suspect Song Fei Li prevented from fleeing to Hong Kong
By Dareh Gregorian, New York Post, July 21, 2012

A suspect in the execution-style murder of two Chinatown women is staying behind bars after being indicted on unrelated felony charges.

Song Fei Li’s lawyer, Rebecca Kavanaugh, had contended he should be freed on bail and that prosecutors were relying on “speculation” about his possible involvement in the murders of Xiao Li, 70, and Yong Hua Chen, 36, to keep him locked up.

Song was plucked off a Hong Kong-bound jet at JFK Airport Sunday by cops moments before takeoff.

“He was already in his seat. The doors were closing and the jet was preparing to take off. As soon as this guy saw us, he knew he was had,” a source told The Post after the arrest

Song, 34, is a Chinese-gang member, said sources, and investigators believe he killed Chen and Li and then torched Chen’s Henry Street apartment on June 30.

Both women had been shot in the head.

Investigators believe the killing may have been retaliation. The two women may have ripped off an underground “bank” where Chen worked to the tune of well over $100,000.
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Carmelo
Posted: Aug 5 2012, 06:58 AM


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Leading triad figures, rural leaders snared in police operation

Notable triad members and rural chiefs in Yuen Long have been arrested in a police swoop over the last two days.

More than 200 police officers from the Organized Crime and Triad Bureau (OCTB) together with the Financial Investigation Division of the Narcotics Bureau and the New Territories North Region took part in the operation, which swept up 84 male suspects and 46 females at 21 locations. Those arrested are aged between 30 and 69. Some remain in police custody.

Police seized assets including HK$3.4 million in cash and foreign currencies, 11 luxury watches and two luxury cars worth a total of HK$8 million. Police say the luxury items were part of the money laundering scheme to make the money appear clean.

Superintendent Lau Shu-sing of the OCTB said those arrested were involved in operating illegal businesses, such as money laundering, unlawful gambling, managing vice establishments, selling illicit fuel and other triad related offenses.
Police revealed triad members made use of accounts of their wives or mistresses to launder a massive sum of money to the tune of HK$300 million.

The illegal gambling establishments brought an income averaging at least HK$100,000 a day, providing a major source of income to the triads.
Officers denied the case has anything to do with the Chief Executive election, saying that the swoop was a pure triad-related, intelligence-based action that was commenced late last year.

A police spokesman added the arrests dealt a serious blow to two medium-sized gangs that were both active and sophisticated.

Among those reportedly arrested was Kwok Wing-hung, said to be a triad heavyweight of Wo Shing Wo with a nickname of "Shanghai boy".

Ha Tsuen Rural Committee Chairman Tang Lai-tung and Ping Shan Rural Committee Chairman Tsang Shu-wo were also on the list of those being detained.
Kwok Ho-fai, chief superintendent from the OCTB, refused to disclose whether any rural chiefs were involved in the vice activities, claiming investigations are still ongoing.

Leung Fuk-yuen, chairman of Shap Pat Heung Rural Committee, who attended the Lau Fau Shan dinner, rejected allegations that he was involved in the arrest. He said reports of his arrest were a tactic used by some politicians aiming at discrediting him.

Heung Yee Kuk Vice-Chairman Daniel Lam Wai-keung said the Kuk does not intend to investigate the matter, saying this is a single case which would not affect the credibility of rural committee members.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/hkedition/201...h_bid=115382162
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Carmelo
Posted: Aug 15 2012, 08:45 AM


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Guanlan crime boss gets 20 years

2012-August-15

THE leader of a criminal syndicate in Guanlan Subdistrict, Bao’an District, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for multiple crimes.

Chen Youhu was found guilty of committing numerous crimes over the past five years, including illegal operation of casinos, forced trading, extortion, illegal possession of firearms and assault, Bao’an District People’s Court ruled.

Court officials said Chen and his subordinates profited from forcibly charging protection fees, operating casinos, monopolizing the supply of plastic bags in a local bazaar and guarding entertainment venues. The money was used to buy cars, firearms and knives to strengthen their criminal activities.

Chen was also fined 70,000 yuan (US$11,008). Police have frozen Chen’s assets, including nearly 1.8 million yuan and HK$12,030 (US$1,909).

The syndicate’s second-in-command, Wu Bangdong, was sentenced to 18 years in jail and fined 30,000 yuan.

Gang member Lian Jianguang was sentenced to two and a half years for assault, the court said. Other ring members, 33 in total, also received jail terms.

Chen, 39, is a native of Sichuan Province who learned kung fu skills at young age. He set up the mafia-style organization with other Sichuan natives in 2007, shortly after his release from a previous three-year imprisonment.

Chen led his Sichuan friends into extortion by having them quarrel and cause trouble at locations including nightclubs, massage parlors, skating rinks, hair salons and more. Chen or other gang members would then go to the businesses and offer to protect them from such trouble. Business owners would pay Chen for the “favor.”

Court officials said Chen amassed his fortune by owning shops in Guanlan and by secretly organizing gambling, prostitution and protection fee rackets.

Small business owners wanted to be on good terms with Chen and paid him fees regularly.

In 2008, Chen arranged for seven members to work as security guards at a foot massage club in Guanlan. The club’s boss, surnamed Zhou, had to pay Chen 15,000 yuan for the guards’ salaries. For holidays and birthdays of Chen or gang members, Zhou often had to give red packets containing 500 to 1,000 yuan. Chen once blackmailed Zhou for 138,000 yuan.

A restaurant owner surnamed Liu was never brave enough to charge Chen for dinner expenses. For birthday celebrations, Chen invited business owners to eat at the restaurant and give him red packets. Liu’s restaurant gave Chen and his gang about 10,000 yuan per year.

http://www1.szdaily.com/content/2012-08/15...ent_7081561.htm
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