Hong Kong police demolish arcades, arrest 347

Hong Kong police officer

Hong Kong police have arrested 347 people after three days of raids on illegal gambling, drug and sex businesses. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Police in Hong Kong have arrested 347 people as part of a campaign to dismantle extensive criminal activity across the city. Police carried out raids on 252 venues over three days to take down triad-controlled gambling, sex and drug businesses. The properties for which police issued search warrants included bars, saunas, nightclubs and mahjong parlors.

Dealing with triad activity is a high priority for the commissioner

They also closed unlicensed pubs, drug halls and illegal gambling establishments. The suspects face various charges, including drug trafficking, membership in a criminal organization, operating an illegal gambling establishment and money laundering. A police spokesperson confirmed that combating triad activity is the commissioner’s top priority and that law enforcement agencies will continue to conduct such investigations.

This is not the first large-scale crackdown on illegal gambling in Hong Kong. In a similar operation in November, authorities arrested 335 people and confiscated gambling chips and various weapons worth HK$1.8 million (US$230,362). They then arrested hundreds more people in further gambling raids in December, including someone suspected of laundering 15 million Hong Kong dollars (US$1.9 million) in illegal gambling proceeds.

Most forms of gambling are currently illegal in Hong Kong, with the exception of the state lottery, horse racing and football betting.


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