HK triad members held for threatening lawmaker
HONG KONG: Police in Hong Kong yesterday arrested six people with suspected triad links over death threats to a newly-elected lawmaker who advocates greater autonomy from China.
Eddie Chu was one of several rebel lawmakers to win seats in Hong Kong’s landmark legislative elections this month.
He and his family have been under 24hour protection since the vote on Sept 4 because of the threats.
Police said six men aged 19 to 53 have been arrested for “criminal intimidation” in connection with the death threats to Chu.
They said initial investigations revealed they were thought to be members of triad organised crime gangs.
Television footage showed some of the suspects wearing black hoods and being led into a police station.
“Though I’m happy to see that the police have carried out the arrests, it doesn’t mean the threat to my family has been removed,” Chu said in a written response on his Facebook page.
“The power that is manipulating and intimidating behind the scenes and shielding the collusion between officials, business people, village strongmen and gangsters is still controlling Hong Kong’s political development and our lives,” he said.
Chu is an environmentalist who has campaigned against the destruction of heritage properties to make way for newer developments.
He has sought to expose shady political dealings in rural areas where local strongmen are influential and have been accused of having links to criminal gangs.
Triad gangs have traditionally been involved in drug-running, prostitution and extortion but increasingly operate in legitimate ventures such as property and the finance industry.
Some are believed to have links with the political establishment and there have previously been allegations of triads sending paid thugs to stir up trouble during protests. – AFP