Wan Kuok-koi

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Wan Kuok-koi (Chinese: 尹國駒; pinyin: Yǐn Guójū; Wade–Giles: Wan Gwok-keui; born 1955), popularly known as Broken Tooth Koi (崩牙駒; Cantonese: bung nga keui; Mandarin: bēng yá jū),[1] was, until his arrest, the leader of the Macau branch of the 14K Triad. He was released after more than 14 years in prison on 1 December 2012.[2]

Gang war with former associate[edit]

However, tension between the two gangsters grew as Wai grew wary of Wan's high-profile persona. Teaming up with rival triad group the Shui Fong, a vicious turf war broke out in 1996 and 1997. In early 1997, an unsigned letter was sent to several newspapers in the area. It said: "Warning: From this day on it is forbidden to mention Broken Tooth Koi in the press; otherwise bullets will have no eyes, and knives and bullets will have no feelings."

In 1997 Wan briefly fled Macau to avoid two arrest warrants, one from a new anti-triad law enacted in Macau, and one for drug-trafficking from China. However, in August a Portuguese judge cleared Wan of all charges, and unexpectedly retired and moved back to Portugal the very next day.

Wan then proceeded to attack Wai in public, putting up posters claiming he was a drug trafficker and declaring that anyone visiting Wai's casinos would become his enemy. Ultimately, Wan amassed enough power and influence and took over Wai's rackets completely. By this time he was earning $6 million a month from his legal gambling establishments.

Involvement in the film industry and arrest[edit]

In the autumn of 1997, Wan approached Hong Kong movie producer Henry Fong Ping to produce a film based on his life. The result was the 1998 movie Casino (aka Ho Kong Fung Wan) starring Simon Yam as Giant, a triad boss living the high life in the Macau underworld. Wan agreed to extensive research meetings to make the film as accurate as possible, as well as using his influence on Macau to help the crew film.

One of his most outrageous stunts was to close down the Macau-Taipa Bridge for some hours to allow filming of a crucial scene in the movie. The producers had asked the Macau Government for permission to film on the bridge, closing it to traffic, but permission was denied. However, Wan wanted the scene to be shot anyway so he closed traffic from both sides of the bridge without any warning and the scene was filmed in this manner. Traffic to and from Macau was, because of this, halted for around two hours. No police intervention was made or any other measures by the Macau Government were taken to reopen the bridge to normal traffic flow on what was then one of the two links between Macau mainland and Taipa-Coloane.

A week before opening night, as he watched his own movie Casino, Wan was arrested and charged with illegal gambling, loan-sharking, criminal association, and attempted murder of chief of police Antonio Marques Baptista with a car bomb. In November 1999, in a landmark trial, he was convicted and jailed, along with eight associates including his brother Wan Kuok-hung. Wan was sentenced to 15 years in prison. All assets of the nine were confiscated.[3] His jail term was later reduced to 13 years and 10 months.[4]

After prison - Cambodia, Hongmen and blockchain[edit]

Wan was released from prison on 1 December 2012 and soon re-entered the casino junkets business.[4][5]

In October 2017, he was part of the initial coin offering of a cryptocurrency, Dragon Coin, by a Macau-based hotel and casino corporation, Macau Dragon Group, intended to serve Mainland Chinese gamblers in Macau alongside the informal 'junket' system. The ICO reportedly[6] raised US$320 million.[7]

He founded and became chairman of the The World Hongmen History and Culture Association (also known as the World Hung Mun History and Culture Association, Cambodia branch office[8] (affiliated to the Hongmen), a fraternal Chinese cultural group with tens of thousands of members globally, as it expanded into Cambodia on the back of a surge of Chinese investment, both Belt and Road infrastructure and gambling-related. With the blessing of the Cambodian Government, on 20 May 2018 he launched the organisation's headquarters there, saying "We will establish Hongmen schools in order to let foreigners and overseas Chinese study Chinese books, and to let foreigners read about [topics such as] loyalty, filial piety, benevolence, and justice."[6][9]

The opening of the new Hongmen headquarters also saw the launch of another cryptocurrency, HB ('Hongmen cryptocurrency'), with Wan saying he expected to issue one billion HB, each valued at one US Dollar. At the event he said he also planned to invest in e-commerce and to launch Hongmen-related watches, tea, hotels and casinos.[10]

Private and public life[edit]

Much like Nicky Barnes and John Gotti, Wan kept a very stylish public appearance, driving expensive sports cars and wearing expensive suits and jewelry. Prior to his prison sentence he went through three marriages and has fathered six children.

As a result of his gangster lifestyle he has also acquired a number of wounds. He has been shot twice and has had his arms badly mangled by meat cleavers, and as a result cannot straighten his two middle fingers.

References[edit]