HK triad mem­bers held for threat­en­ing law­maker

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

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

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