Police officers stand guard in Hong Kong, China, on 01 October 2022. EFE-EPA FILE/MIGUEL CANDELA

Hong Kong police arrest 6,400 people, seize $52 million in triad crackdown

Hong Kong, Sep 27 (EFE).- Some 6,400 people were arrested and cash, dangerous drugs and illicit goods worth about HK$410 million ($52.4 million) were seized in a crackdown on organized crime, Hong Kong’s police said Wednesday.

The “Thunderbolt 2023” joint operation by the police of Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macau was conducted between June 12 and Sep. 21.

It was “aimed at combating illegal activities of triad societies and organized crime syndicates, neutralizing cross-boundary crimes, and interdicting the criminals’ source of income,” the Hong Kong police said in a statement.

The semi-autonomous city’s Immigration Department, the Customs and Excise Department, the Fire Services Department, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department also took part in the operation.

In total, some 83,000 agents conducted raids at about 3,100 locations and dismantled numerous illegal establishments, including gambling dens, unlicensed bars and loan-shark companies, the police added.

A total of 4,115 men and 2,285 women, aged between 10 and 85 years, have been detained for triad-related or organized crimes, including causing injuries, blackmail, possession of weapons, operating illegal gambling establishments, human trafficking for prostitution and drug trafficking.

The Hong Kong police also seized several illegal items including gambling tools, weapons, $12 million cash suspected to be proceeds of criminal activities, and dangerous drugs worth over $350 million, including cannabis, ketamine, cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin. EFE