Hong Kong Police have arrested more than 4,000 people, including a 12-year-old boy, in an annual operation against triads and organised crime.
Police also seized HK$310 million worth of illegal goods and dangerous drugs during the operations, which ran between May 15 and August 15 this year.
Police said some of the arrests and seized goods were related to illegal gambling and other crimes related to the football world cup which took place this year.
The operation was code-named “Thunderbolt 18”. Hong Kong Police worked with authorities from Guangdong and Macau to tackle cross-border criminal activity and share information.
More than 88,000 officers searched around 6,300 locations in Hong Kong during the operation, including discos, amusement arcades, massage parlours, nightclubs, and homes.
In total, 4,283 people were arrested, including 2,227 men and 2,056 women, aged between 12 and 72. Of those arrested, 1,259 were from the Mainland. They were arrested for various crimes, including triad-related offences, drug offences, illegal gambling, wounding, and possession of arms or ammunition without license.
Police seized HK$90 million worth of dangerous drugs, including cannabis, ketamine, cocaine, methamphetamine or crystal meth, heroin and midazolam. They also confiscated more than 205,800 obscene and pirated DVDs, worth about HK$3.7 million. Other items seized included batches of weapons, fake firearms, and about 150,000 rolls of illegal cigarettes.
Since 2000, police have launched “Thunderbolt” operations every year to tackle organised crime. The number of arrests during this year’s operation was 18.3 per cent higher than the same operation last year.