A number of BUZZ staff and readers have put together a background report on who was involved and what caused the fighting based on local newspaper reports and other resources.
Active in the Sham Shui Po and West Kowloon districts, a lower ranking leader of the Wo Shing Wo (WSW) named Fat Boy Leung 肥仔亮 runs a finance company. Apparently a young male of the Shui Fong gang called Ken Wong had run up a debt of $4 million but has not made repayment despite repeated reminders. Someone heard that Ken would show up in Sai Kung on 24 May, so arrangement was made for people with knives to confront him in order to chase up repayment. However, before the would be attackers got to do their job, they were counter-attacked and injured.
It was reported that Fat Boy Leung is a disciple of WSW’s elder Fish Market Biu 魚欄標. Originally earning his living in Sham Shui Po’s fish market, he expanded his influence to Mong Kok’s night life area. He was thought to be part of the triad groups that’s involved in the clashes that erupted between triad members and the occupiers in the 2014 Occupy Mong Kok area. In recent years, he has advanced into the financial and money lending activities.
Ken Wong’s big brother is former leader of the Shui Fong gang, Fat Wai 肥威. 24 May was Fat Wai’s 49th birthday and he celebrated it in the Sing Kee Seafood Restaurant restaurant with around 30 of his followers. When they finished at around 11:00 pm and were leaving, Ken was attacked outside the restaurant by the men with knives who had been waiting for him. The followers of Fat Wai who were there stepped forward to assist Ken. They outnumbered the attackers who were then surrounded and beaten. Fat Wai apparently did not participate in the counter attack nor was he injured. He left the scene afterwards.
In 2011 Fat Wei was hand picked by Shui Fong’s elder Tall Man Fat 高佬發 to be in charge and be responsible for keeping the books, overseeing the mahjong parlours, night clubs and acupressure parlours in Mong Kok district, and taking care of the society’s income source. But he incurred displeasure from another member of the gang. He recommended another follower called Child Phoenix 子鳯 to be the leader of the gang, thus resulting in two separate factions of the ‘Shui Fong’ gang.
In February 2013, Fat Wei had Chinese New Year (CNY) dinner with his family in Tsim Sha Tsui. When he was leaving, he was attacked by 30 rival members of his own gang. Fat Wei made his escape by getting into his car and broke into the TST Police station. He was hospitalised because of injuries sustained to his head and face and his right eye was black and blue. Two years ago in February 2016, fighting broke out at the Tuen Mun Leung King Bazaar on the 2nd day of CNY. It was reported that Fat Wei was present there, suspected of monitoring and commanding security guards with backgrounds to expel the hawkers suspected of being backed by the Sun Yee On gang. The two sides clashed in the end.
BACKGROUND ON THE ABOVE TRIADS
WO SHING WO: This triad society was founded in Sham Shui Po in 1930. It operates in extortion, prostitution, loan sharking, drugs and gambling, according to the police. WSW can be found in Chinatowns all over the world and locally at Tsim Sha Tsui, Mong Kok, Tai Po, Fan Ling and Sheung Shui. New members have to go through the Hongmen secret society initiation ceremony. WSW is believed to be the largest drug trafficking organisation in Hong Kong.
This triad is thought by police to be behind the brutal stabbing of Kevin Lau, editor of the Ming Pao. Some unscrupulous politicians and businessmen are believed to be members. WSW controls some minibus routes extorting about $14 million a year from approximately 30 drivers. Each driver pays the triad about $10,000 a month. In return the triads try to muscle other drivers off the routes.
SHUI FONG also known as “Water Room Gang”: One of the most active triad societies, Shui Fong runs “businesses” at Yau Ma Tei, Tsim Sha Tsui, Mong Kok and Sham Shui Po in extortion, loan sharking and narcotics. It originated from the labour union of a soft drink company in the 1930s. Allegedly Shui Fong gangsters fought for control of Macau casinos in the 1990s in which they took on the 14K led by “Broken Tooth Koi”. Two long-term members, “Fei Wei”and “Sam Chuen” were elected leaders in 2009. Rivals emerged and they fought publicly in 2013. In 2010 at Wong Tai Sin a 15-year-old boy was killed in a triad clash between the 14K and Shui Fong.
SUN YEE ON also known as “New Righteous and Peace Commercial and Industrial Guild”: Founded by Heung Chin in 1919, this gang is believed to have about 55,000 members worldwide. It is into counterfeiting, gambling, drugs, human trafficking, prostitution, smuggling and extortion.
Sun Yee On operates vice establishments in Tsim Sha Tsui and Yau Ma Tei. One of its bosses, Lee Tai-lung, was murdered by WSW thugs outside the Kowloon Shangri-la in 2009. This was said to be a revenge attack after a WSW mobster was injured in an earlier clash. After Lee’s death his henchmen defended his lucrative turf from other triads. Later an undercover operation by police led to the arrest of 222 Shui Fong gangsters in West Kowloon and Tsim Sha Tsui.
Triad societies in Hong Kong by W.P. Morgan, Hong Kong Government Printer, 1960.
Hong Kong triad societies before and after the 1997 change-over by Benjamin T.M. Liu, Hong Kong : Net e-Pub., c2001. call no. 364.14095125 LIU
Apple Daily recently published a number of comprehensive accounts of the event which we have used for background.