Police arrest hundreds in Hong Kong ahead of university games
Jul 22, 2011, 7:10 GMT
Hong Kong - Several hundred people have been arrested over the past three weeks by police in Hong Kong in a crackdown on organised crime ahead of a global university sports event, a newspaper report said Friday.
Officers have so far seized drugs, contraband cigarettes, pornography and confiscated betting records worth 60 million Hong Kong dollars (7.7 million US dollars), the South China Morning Post said.
Operation Thunderbolt started at the beginning of July and is set to finish on July 31.
It is part of a wider cross-border crackdown on crime in Hong Kong, Macau and southern China before Universiade 2011 starts across the Chinese border in neighbouring Shenzhen on August 12.
University students from at least 42 countries will take part in the two-week multisports event which is held every two years.
One police officer said officers in the three jurisdictions were attempting to 'clean up' the region in a bid to ensure there was no trouble during the games. Students at the games are expected to visit Hong Kong during the event.
'The operation targets triad gangs, their income sources and organised crime,' one Hong Kong police officer said. 'We believe the joint sweep can result in active triad members remaining low-profile for a while.'
During the operation police in the New Territories district of Hong Kong arrested 170 people after officers smashed a loan-sharking syndicate, gambling den and a factory making pornographic discs.
Police elsewhere in the territory have arrested triad members, drug traffickers, illegal bookmakers, smugglers and sex workers, the officer said.