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|Criminal activities||Arms trafficking, human trafficking, counterfeiting, drug trafficking, assault, extortion, fraud, illegal immigration, larceny, murder, prostitution, racketeering, money laundering, bribery|
|Allies||Yoshitomi Group, Latin Kings, Russian Mafia, Los Zetas,|
|Rivals||Various Yakuza groups internationally,|
A 'Kkangpae' (Korean: also abbreviated as "KP") is the name of either the South Korean organized crime or street gang. Kkangpae operates primarily in Seoul, Busan, and Daegu, although it is known to operate in Japan and the United States. The South Korean gang is well known for its proficient kidnapping, ruthless extortion, and loan sharking tactics. Since the early 2000s, the South Korean entertainment industry has regularly popularized the South Korean gang, through films and television. They have also been involved in street racing in South Korea especially in Seoul and Busan.
Alliance with People Nation
The Jopoks are an alliance to the People Nation. They have strong ties with the Latin Kings and Vice Lords. In Chicago Jopoks gang membersip is estimated to have 5,200 to 9,000 Jopoks members. Jopoks in Chicago are involved in auto theft, extortion, drug smuggling, murder and street racing
Historians believe that the rise of the Korean mafia started back in the 19th century, in the fading days of the Joseon Dynasty. With the rise of commerce and the emergence of investment from European colonial powers, pre-existing street gangs, often consisting of lower class muscle and operated by wealthy merchants, gained influence. The modern history of Korean criminal organizations divides into four periods—the "Romantic Period" during the Colonial era, political mobs of the late 1950s and early 1960s under Syngman Rhee, the "Civil War period" under the military rule of Park Chung Hee and Chun Doo Hwan, and the present.
During the 35 years of Korea under Imperial Japanese rule, many Koreans were subjected to forced labor and sex slavery. This intensified during World War II when the Empire of Japan spread its empire throughout Manchuria, and parts of China. Koreans fled to mainland Japan and formed mobs to overcome discrimination and crime. The most infamous "mobster" during this period was Kim Doo Han, the son of a famous Korean independence fighter and insurgent leader Kim Jwa-jin, a freedom fighter against Colonial rule. After his father and mother were killed, he grew up as a beggar and hung out with a local gang, named Jumok (fist). He rose through the ranks and became infamous for fighting groups against the yakuza.
The colonial branch of the Imperial Japanese Yakuza was then under the control of Hayashi[disambiguation needed], an ethnic Korean who defected to the Japanese and joined the Yakuza. The rival mob to Hayashi's Yakuza was controlled by Koo Majok, but the Korean mafia was always short of money and many local mob bosses were disloyal to Koo and formed separated mobs, notably Shin Majok and Ssang Kal (twin knives). Koo Majok finally tried to solidify his control over the Korean mobs by knocking out Ssang Kal and taking over his territory but it caused a backlash. Kim Doo Han, originally a member of Ssang Kal, rebelled against Koo Majok. Kim killed both Shin Majok and Koo Majok and unified all the Korean mobs under his command at the age of 18. After solidifying his rule by beating the revolting groups, Kim made his move against the Yakuza, starting the famous trial war between Jumok and Yakuza, which became symbolic of the resistance by Koreans against Japanese. Kim Doo Han was a major figure of the movement against the colonial rule. To this date, many Korean mobs are still at war with Japanese mobs, or yakuza.
Crime was widespread in South Korea during the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s . The criminal syndicates controlled large parts of the South Korean entertainment scene, as well politics, and the media. The common modus operandi of the South Korean mafia included racketeering, prostitution, loan sharking, money laundering, such as through construction, and gambling. However in 1990, the South Korean government announced a war against organized crime, which resulted in the incarceration of thousands of South Korean mafiosos and mob bosses. However South Korean gangs transformed themselves into business corporations, and started expansion in 1997 as South Korea fell victim to the East Asian Financial Crisis.
Current activities of the South Korean mafia include extortion, prostitution, illegal goods (drugs, guns), money laundering, such as through construction or fisheries, loan sharking, kidnappings, and night club management. The South Korean mafia has a larger presence in smaller towns and cities, where the government and police influence is less common.
South Korean gang members often have tattoos of the pa (English: mob) they are in. When confronted by other mobs, they show their tattoos to help identify themselves. The tattoo can also be used as a warning to the general public. As a result, tattoos are often considered taboo in South Korean society.
Prominent South Korean gangs
There are many named local gangs and organized crime affiliates in South Korea. They often operate small, local businesses to earn extra money, however, their usual source of income comes from protection fees, in which they take over a certain neighborhood designated as their "territory" (Korean: 구역), demanding that all businesses in the neighborhood make a monthly payment to the gang leaders in exchange for not damaging their business.
Currently, there are three major South Korean crime syndicates, which compete amongst each other regularly. They are the Seven Star Mob (Korean: 칠성파; Chil Sung Pa), the Twin Dragons (Korean: 쌍용파; Ssang Yong Pa), and the Korean Packs. The origin of the H.S.S. Mob's name is unknown, although is rumored that 환, 송, and 성 represent the nicknames of the gang's three founders.
Seven star mob (Chil Sung Pa)
The Seven Star Mob (Korean: 칠성파; Chil Sung Pa) is a major gang in South Korea . The name apparently originates from the gang's seven founders (of which three are imprisoned, and two are dead). Functioning much like Japan's yakuza, it has gained notoriety in the South Korean criminal underground. However, as their criminal activities are very secretive, the South Korean police cannot act against them, although they have suspicions regarding their illegal deeds. Chil-Sung-Pa is headquartered in Busan and are considered to be the most powerful gang in South Korea. Their gang tattoo is a pattern of seven stars on their chest.
In popular culture
- The 2009 British video game, Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars, features a Korean gang known as the "Midtown Gangsters", which operates in the United States and is considered a part of the "Korean mafia".
- Man’s gambling ties go far back
- Extortion Case Explores Rifts in Korean Enclave in Queens
- Organized Crime In California- Annual Report To The California Legislature 2004
- Organized Crime In California- Annual Report To The California Legislature 1996
- Anxiety builds as crime increases in Koreatown
- Asian Organized Crime Groups – State of New Jersey Commission of Investigation 1989 Report
- Korea 'fist' genealogy and history
- Five Indicted In a Robbery At a Church
- Korean Gangsters Held in Extortion
- 5 Men Said to Be in Korean Mob Are Charged in Waiters' Assault
- MANHATTAN’S INVISIBLE KOREAN POWER
- Korean Pride:Gangs And The Korean Community
- The Way of the Fists
- Scam, Like A Nesting Doll, Hid Even More