Wo Shing Wo
|Founding location||Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong, China|
|Territory||Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Japan, United States, Canada, Australia, Belgium and the United Kingdom|
|Ethnicity||Majority of Han Chinese, ethnic minority members of and Vietnamese descent|
|Criminal activities||Drug trafficking, arms trafficking, arson, fraud, prostitution, human trafficking, identity theft, money laundering, extortion, murder, illegal immigration, kidnapping, racketeering, home invasion robberies|
|Rivals||Sun Yee On|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2007)|
Wo Shing Wo was established in Sham Shui Po in 1930 and, while maintaining its traditional stronghold in Tsuen Wan, it has extended its influence to Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok. It also operates in Tai Po, Sheung Shui and Fanling. The triad is known to be involved in extortion, drug trafficking, gambling and prostitution. The group continues to use the old Hongmen Secret Society initiating ceremony for newly recruited members.
Wo Shing Wo was established in 1930. In 1931 it moved its base from China Town in Toronto, Canada to Hong Kong with a goal to establish an anti-British colonial governance. By 1932 it had grown into 15 subdivisions in Chinatowns of cities around the world. In the United States, Wo Shing Wo's influence is more significant in Seattle and San Francisco. During World War II, WSW helped invaders kill many Chinese villagers, with the killer team dubbed '49 Team'. Because of political issues in China, many Chinese villagers left mainland and fled to Hong Kong. WSW's membership expanded from 5,000 to 70,000 in 1950.
In 1989 WSW became the centre of media attention after the terrorist attacks on the Indonesian coast bordering the South China Sea. In 1995 a young wannabe member of London's mainly Filipino WSW killed Philip Lawrence, a school headmaster. He is sentenced and it was proven that he actually had no ties with the Triad organization.
As the United Kingdom prepared for the handover of Hong Kong back to the People's Republic of China, WSW redefined their organization in order to prepare for their murky operations in mainland China. WSW split into six separate regional forces in Hong Kong—500 fully armed members in North Territories, hawkers in Sham Shui Po, love hotels in Jordan, with groups in Tsuen Wan, Wanchai and a new branch across the border in Shenzhen. (1997)
In 2001, WSW traded drugs in discos and bars with Judi Fong and religious communities, promising that drugs can enhance religious experiences through visions and hallucinations. By 2005 WSW had become Hong Kong's No. 1 drug trader. WSW's drug dealing activities and key criminal activities spread to China, Japan, Thailand and Australia. WSW is involved in various criminal activities and some of Hong Kong's politicians and businessmen are suspected to be supporters of the Triad group. WSW is split into two main forces, one based in Macau and another in Shenzhen. WSW began to emerge in Europe.
By 2006 WSW had control the secondhand market in Hong Kong, including mobile phones, electronic appliances, stolen cars and exchange of weaponry at Mong Kok. WSW members are attacked by members of Wo On Lok. Firearms are used and many are hurt.[when?] WSW raises crime rate in Chinatown, London, United Kingdom.
In 2014, the triad was thought by police to be responsible for the brutal stabbing on 26 February of Kevin Lau, a journalist known for his tough reporting on China, who had been fired from his position as the editor of the Ming Pao newspaper. The attack took place three days after thousands of people had demonstrated for press freedom, as a result of the dismissal and was carried out by an assailant riding pillion on a motorbike, which had been stolen in Fanling.
From 2006 to at least 2010, the group controlled three red minibus routes and was extorting at least HK$14 million a year as protection fees from 30 drivers. Former group dragonhead "Broken Mouth Bun", who, police say, is the leader of the group running the Tsuen Wan – Kwun Tong route, was arrested and bailed on 21 March 2010 in connection with the scheme. On each route, about 30 drivers each pay at least HK$10,000 a month as a protection fee to the triad gang. The gang then make sure no other driver could run the routes, leaving the drivers able to earn HK$10,000 and HK$20,000 a month. Three other minibus routes running between Tsuen Wan and Kowloon East – Choi Hung, Tsz Wan Shan and Ngau Tau Kok – are being controlled by another Wo Shing Wo gang.
Dragonheads of Wo Shing Wo
- 'Shanghai Tsai' (Shanghai Boy) (real name: Kwok Wing-hung). Dates unknown. Became widely known in March 2012, after it was revealed that he attended a dinner with some election aides of Hong Kong Chief Executive candidate CY Leung.
- 'Broken Mouth Bun' (real name: Poon), born c1962. In office: 2008–2010;
- 'Shu Tsai' ('Tsai' = 'boy'). In office from 2010.
- Kevin Lau out of intensive care as police make breakthrough in attack case, SCMP, 28 February 2014
- Bus drivers milked for millions by triad, police say, SCMP by Clifford Lo. 23 Mar 2010
- Leung aides 'had dinner with ex-triad chief', The Standard, 7 March 2012