Wo Shing Wo
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|Founding location||Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong|
|Territory||Hong Kong, People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, United States, Canada, and The United Kingdom|
|Ethnicity||Majority Chinese and Vietnamese, Minority Thai, Korean, British, and American|
Wo Shing Wo (Chinese: 和勝和; Jyutping: woo sing woo) is the oldest of the Wo Group triad societies, and is the triad with the longest history in Hong Kong. According to the Hong Kong police, the triad is involved in extortion, drug trafficking, gambling and prostitution.
Wo Shing Wo was established in Sham Shui Po in 1930. 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 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 chinatown 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. During World War II, Wo Shing Wo helped invaders kill many Chinese villagers.
Because of political issues in China, many Chinese villagers left mainland and fled to Hong Kong. Wo Shing Wo membership expanded from 15,000 to 70,000 in 1950
In 1989 Wo Shing Wo 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 Wo Shing Wo killed Philip Lawrence, a school headmaster. He was sentenced and it was proven that he actually had no ties with the Triad organisation.
As the United Kingdom prepared for the handover of Hong Kong back to the People's Republic of China, Wo Shing Wo redefined their organisation 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, Wo Shing Wo 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 has become Hong Kong's No. 1 drug trafficker. 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 Wo Shing Wo has control over the secondhand market in Hong Kong, including mobile phones, electronic appliances, stolen cars and exchange of weaponry at Mong Kok. Wo Shing Wo members are attacked by members of Wo on Lok. Firearms are used and many are hurt.[when?] Wo Shing Wo 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 pay at least HK$10,000 a month as a "protection fee" to the Wo Shing Wo. The WSW 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 controlled by another Wo Shing Wo leader.
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.
- Bus drivers milked for millions by triad, police say, SCMP by Clifford Lo. 23 March 2010
- Officer lifts lid on workings of the underworld by Yvonne Tsui, 16 October 2009.
- Kevin Lau out of intensive care as police make breakthrough in attack case, SCMP, 28 February 2014
- Leung aides 'had dinner with ex-triad chief', The Standard, 7 March 2012