22nd September 2023 – (Hong Kong) In response to a joint operation called “Operation Thunderbolt 2023” by law enforcement agencies in Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macao, a citywide crackdown took place yesterday in Hong Kong. The operation, known as “Operation Tillage and Sweep,” involved raids on 192 entertainment venues, including mahjong parlours, bars, nightclubs, gaming centres, and saunas. The aim was to make arrests and conduct extensive searches to combat organized criminal activities and disrupt the income sources of criminals.
A total of 112 individuals were arrested during the operation, including 76 local men, 15 local women, 1 mainland Chinese man, 15 non-Chinese men, and 5 non-Chinese women. The ages of those arrested ranged from 14 to 78 years old. They are suspected of various crimes, including assault, self-claiming membership in triad societies, illegal assembly, robbery, possession of offensive weapons, trafficking dangerous drugs, operating gambling establishments, assisting unauthorised entrants to stay, illegal immigration, money laundering, criminal damage, and obtaining property by deception. During the operation, approximately 1.8 kilograms of suspected cannabis, around 54 grams of suspected cocaine, about 46 grams of suspected ketamine, and 5 butterfly knives were seized.
In a separate incident, law enforcement officers conducted a search at an underground restaurant on Un Chau Street in Kowloon City at around 9pm. The operation resulted in the disruption of an illegal Mid-Autumn Festival banquet organised by the notorious gang “Wo Shing Wo.” A total of 23 men were arrested on charges of illegal assembly. According to reports, the arrested individuals were later released on bail of HK$1,000 pending further investigation.
The joint operation aimed to tackle the rising organized crime activities in the region and send a strong message to criminals that their actions will not be tolerated. By targeting entertainment venues frequently associated with illegal activities, law enforcement authorities aim to dismantle criminal networks and prevent them from profiting from their illicit operations.
The crackdown on weapons and drugs is part of a broader effort by the authorities to maintain law and order and ensure the safety of the public. The successful operation reflects the commitment of law enforcement agencies to uphold the rule of law and protect the well-being of the community.
The arrests and seizures highlight the ongoing challenges faced by law enforcement in combating organized crime and maintaining social stability. The authorities will continue their efforts to disrupt criminal activities, dismantle criminal networks, and safeguard the security of Hong Kong.