Chinese Mafia Documentary - The Triad Organized Crime Family Biography, In Depth Look Into Chinese American Organized Crime.
A triad is one of many branches of Chinese transnational organized crime syndicates based in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and also in countries with significant Chinese populations, such as the United States, Canada, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Spain, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
When the Chinese Communist Party came to power in 1949 in mainland China, law enforcement became stricter and tough governmental crackdown on criminal organizations forced the triads to migrate to Hong Kong, then a British colony. It was estimated that in the 1950s, there were about 300,000 triad members in Hong Kong. Academics at the University of Hong Kong say that most triad societies were established between 1914 and 1939, and that there were once more than 300 in the territory. Since then the number of such groups has consolidated to around 50, of which 14 are still regularly in the eye of police. There were nine main triads operating in Hong Kong and they had divided the land according to their ethnic groups and geographical locations, with each triad in charge of a region. The nine triads were Wo Hop To, Wo Shing Wo, Rung, Tung, Chuen, Shing, Sun Yee On, 14K and Luen. Each of them had their own headquarters, sub-societies and public fronts. After the 1956 riots, the Hong Kong government introduced stricter law enforcement and the triads became less active.
Triad, Chinese based criminal organization, secret association or club, was a branch from one of the Chinese formal secret societies called Hung Society. For some reasons, the Hung society was separated to many smaller divisions and one of them called Triads and Ching Gang were also regressed to a criminal organization. Following the foundation of the People's Republic of China in 1949, Chinese secret societies in mainland China were completely suppressed through campaigns ordered by Mao Zedong. So most Chinese Secret Societies, including Triads and some of the remaining parts of Ching Gang, relocated to British controlled Hong Kong, Taiwan, Southeast Asia and other overseas countries, especially the US. They competed with Tongs and other Chinese Secret Societies born out of China. Gradually, Chinese Secret Societies were rebels without a cause or a income they turned to drugs and extortion to fill their coffers.
The starting point for understanding Chinese triads is to make a clear distinction between Hong Kong triad and mainland Chinese criminal organizations. In ancient China, Triad is one of three major secret societies in mainland China. It also created branches in Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Chinese communities overseas. After the establishment of the People's Republic of China, all secret societies were completely destroyed in mainland China through a series of campaigns organized by Chairman Mao. Although post-Mao China has witnessed the resurgence of organized crime groups, they are not triad societies; the proper term for these criminal organizations is "mainland Chinese criminal organizations", which consist of two major types of organization: dark forces (loosely organized groups) and black societies (more mature criminal organizations). Two features that distinguish a black society from a dark force are (1) the ability of achieving illegal control over local markets, and (2) the obtainment of police protection.
In short, Hong Kong triad refers to traditional criminal organizations operating in or originating from Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and southeast Asian countries (areas), while organized crime groups in mainland China are better called "mainland Chinese criminal groups".
Chu's Triads as business (2001) presents a thorough examination of the rise of Hong Kong triad and the role of triad societies in legal, illegal and international markets. Wang's The Chinese Mafia (2017) studies the origin of Chinese secret societies in ancient China, explores the rise of organized crime in post-Mao China, and investigates the ways in which local gangs offer quasi law enforcement and private protection to local governments, corporations and individuals. The Chinese Mafia also explores how local gang
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