Police arrest 55 people in connection to a highly active criminal syndicate involved in money laundering of HK$210m in criminal proceeds

371

22nd March 2023 – (Hong Kong) Police officers have arrested 55 people in connection to a highly active criminal syndicate operating in West Kowloon. The group has been linked to a series of violent incidents in recent months, as it vies for power and profits in the region. The authorities had been tracking the syndicate’s movements for some time, gathering intelligence and analyzing data from various sources. Following extensive investigations, they launched a major operation on two separate occasions, resulting in the arrests of 43 individuals on the 20th of March and a further 12 on the 22nd of March.

Those detained include 33 local men and 15 local women, two men and three women with dual residency in mainland China, and a Vietnamese man and woman claiming to be refugees. The suspects face a range of charges, including operating or assisting in the operation of illegal gambling dens, gambling in illegal establishments, running brothels, trafficking dangerous drugs, disturbing public order in public places, and forging or concealing false documents. Two of the key leaders of the syndicate were also among those detained.

The authorities suspect that the syndicate has also been involved in money laundering, with an estimated HK$210 million (US$27 million) in criminal proceeds believed to have been laundered through various channels. The crackdown on this criminal network is a significant victory for law enforcement officials, who have been grappling with a rising tide of organised crime in recent years.

The police have warned that they will continue to be vigilant in their efforts to combat such criminal activities, and urged the public to come forward with any information that may help their investigations. The arrests are a clear message to those who engage in illegal activities that they will be caught and punished accordingly.