Is there a Chinese mafia in Bangkok


A Triad (Chinese: 三合會 / 三合会 Sānhéhuì "Triad Society" / "Three Harmonies Society") is an organized crime association that has its origins in China and plays a key role in the game Sleeping dogs. In the press and, mostly as a paraphrase, also in literature, the triads are sometimes referred to as the “Chinese Mafia”. They are based in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Macau, Taiwan and China, but also operate far from their country of origin, e.g. B. in England since the 1930s. It is estimated that there are over 5,000 triads in China, often making alliances with one another.

The symbol of the triads is the dragon, which, according to the Chinese understanding, embodies wisdom and power. The triad members use secret symbols to identify themselves and communicate with each other using a finger code.

Great triads Edit source]

For example, triad organizations in Hong Kong are

  • United Where (40,000 members, 10 clans)
  • 14K triad (25,000 members, 30 clans) (portrayed in the game by the 18K triad)
  • Sun Yee On (50,000 members) (Portrayed in-game by Sun On Yee)
  • Bou (1000 members, 2 clans)

The is one of the most powerful triads with a worldwide operational area and the main focus in Taiwan

  • Shih Hai Triad (Four Seas Gang) (several 10,000 members)[1]

klök [edit | Edit source]

The ancient triads like to trace their history back to secret societies (Chiu-Chaus), in which loyal followers of the Chinese Ming dynasty allied to fight against the Manchurian Qing dynasty, which ruled China from 1644 onwards. In addition, the triads also campaigned for the Chinese citizens at the time. Whether this is fictitious, like similar patriotic stories about the mafia, or whether originally violent patriotic secret societies actually developed criminal activities to finance their activities (also e.g. ETA and IRA extorted / extort taxes / protection money) and finally degenerated into criminal gangs , can stay open. The triads have long been exclusively highly organized criminal organizations. The triads lived in China in the 18th and 19th centuries in a fruitful coexistence with a corrupt civil service. Originally the triads were called "The White Lotus" Edit source]

British opium trade Edit source]

The great time of the Triads began in 1772 when the British under Warren Hastings began to sell opium for silver to China from their colony in India. Since this had been forbidden in China since 1729, only the secret societies came into question as large buyers, with whom the opium trade, covered by corrupt officials, was carried out to the Chinese opium dens. The main trading center was initially the canton, the only port open to Europeans. After the emperor reiterated the ban on opium in 1800, it was no longer transported to the port, but handed over to a smuggler fleet of the Triads in front of the port. The company Jardine, Matheson & Co. also started smuggling into ports closed to Europeans from 1821, which secured it the predominance of the 46 opium companies and almost 50 opium shipping companies in Canton with a 60 percent market share. This expansion also expanded the power and wealth of the criminal organizations that sold the drug in China.

Opium War Edit source]

The fact that sales rose from an average of 340 tons in the year between 1811 and 1820 to an average of 1,841 tons in the year between 1829 and 1839, and the tremendous outflow of silver that caused severe economic upheaval led to a serious attempt by China to stop the flood of opium. From 1840 onwards, with the opium war, the British government de facto forced the opening of China to the import of opium, which in 1842 had to cede Hong Kong and open five other port cities, including Shanghai, to trade. Opium was formally forbidden, so that everywhere the triads remained main trading partners.

In 1858, China had to open its ports in an uncontrolled manner, allow all foreigners to enter the country unchecked and guarantee freedom of trade in all products. In 1880 opium imports reached a record level of 6,500 tons to supply 20 million addicts, whereby the Chinese government was now involved through an import tax.

Now the emperor ordered opium to be grown in the country, and at the turn of the century Chinese domestic production amounted to 22,000 tons, while the import share from India fell to 3,500 tons. Since 1880 morphine has been imported on a massive scale and since 1900 the Bayer product heroin - to cure opium addiction - in the German colony Tsingtau.

The opium business was also an important basis for financing the warlords who emerged after the collapse of imperial rule.

Shanghai, the Green Gang and the Red Gang Edit source]

The city of Shanghai was ruled mainly by two triads, the Red Gang, partner of the British company Jardine, Matheson & Co and the British secret service, led by Chang Hsiao-lin, and the Green Gang, who worked with the French in the drug and secret service business worked together and was run by "pockmark" Huang. The Tong and the League of Heaven and Earth also existed.

The main business was the so-called anti-opium pills. 10,000 pills were made from two ounces (2 x 31 grams) of pure heroin, 1/2 ounce of strychnine, one ounce of quinnine, five ounces of caffeine, 48 ounces of lactose, and ten ounces of sugar. Huge sales were achieved in the process. In 1927, I.G.-Farben delivered almost one and a half tons of strychnine with a single order.

The mediator of the two secret societies and the original head of the Green Gang was Tu Yueh-sheng.

In 1925, after Sun Yat-sen's death, these three gang leaders joined the Kuomintang and supported its new leader, Chiang Kai-shek.

In 1926 the gangs united under the leadership of the triumvirate and Tu Yueh-sheng founded his own union with the "General Progressive Association".

The Shanghai massacre Edit source]

In February 1926, the Chinese Communist Party organized a workers general strike against the foreign powers and the generals in Shanghai. The foreigners who supported Chiang Kai-shek expected that he would put down this strike, which he did not want to do himself for reasons of prestige, so that he and his troops advanced slowly towards Shanghai and only shortly before the city on March 21 arrived. Chiang opened his arsenal for the members of the Triads and in the next few days the city filled with the heavily armed gangsters. On April 12, 1927, they began a massacre of all communists and many workers and in the following weeks and months practically wiped out the very strong communist organization and base there.

Tu Yueh-sheng was named Major General of the Kuomintang and Deputy Governor of Shanghai as a reward. He also became honorary president of the US-owned Shanghai Power Company.

In August, Chiang Kai-shek turned the opium ban into a state monopoly, the first license holders of which were the big three Tu Yueh-sheng, Hu-ang and Chang Hsiao-lin. Despite the low tax burden, the monopoly brought the government $ 40 million within a year. Due to pressure from foreign powers, the state monopoly was lifted at the end of 1928.

Tu Yueh-sheng then received the concession for the newly established state lottery.

In 1930 the French captain Louis Fabre described the state of the police in the French concession as follows: “Our territory was under the total control of a group of Chinese. She had the police apparatus firmly in hand, the French chiefs of which were largely corrupt and whose Chinese employees were hired and paid by her and were completely docile to her ...

After 1931 he freed himself from his own addiction and, according to the sources of Hans-Georg Behr, devoted himself only to his trade union movement. The French sources by Roger Faligot and Rémi Kauffer see it differently, see the article on Tu Yueh-sheng. (He later left for Taiwan with his subordinates.)

Worldwide activities Edit source]

The areas of influence of the other two were divided up in such a way that the Hu-angs were assigned to the East (viewed from China), especially America, and the Changs to the West, especially Europe.

In 1935, after the Luxol factory in Elberfeld had been closed and a Jewish smuggling ring in Vienna had been smashed and the supply stalled for several years, the US criminal Meyer Lansky secured large deliveries of heroin from Shanghai, which were produced in the heroin refineries in Chang and via liaison men from Huang to the USA.

After the end of the civil war, which ended with the victory of the communists, production in the so-called "Golden Triangle" was built up by Kuomingtang troops who had evaded there, and from there the Triads traded all over the world via Bangkok. In Europe, Amsterdam became the most important import port.

Southeast Asia, Saigon Edit source]

Opium addiction was also widespread among the Chinese communities in the cities of Southeast Asia. Accordingly, the triads were strong everywhere not only as exploiters of prostitutes, but also as opium dealers within the communities. There were six clans in Saigon alone. After Saigon's 4,000 opium shops had to close in 1952, the Binh Xuyen gang dominated the drug business and formed the power base of Emperor Bảo Đại. The opium trade was controlled by the chief of the Binh Xuyen, General Le Van Vien. The opium was flown under the responsibility of Colonel Roger Tranquier by a group of Corsicans using their private airline from the growing areas of the Meo to Vietnam.

The power of this gang was broken because Emperor Bao Dai relied on the French. The representative of American interests Colonel Edwaed G. Lansdale (whom Graham Greene portrayed in his book "The Silent American") supported the anti-French and pro-American Prime Minister Ngô Đình Diệm with $ 8.6 million. He had some army units under Colonel Văn Minh brought to Saigon, which fought and defeated the Binh Xuyen. In this context, there were also attacks by the French on the Americans, which were responded to with violence. In 1955, after negotiations by US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles in Paris, Emperor Bao Dai was deposed and the French finally withdrew from Vietnam.

Diem's ​​brother-in-law, General Nhu, relied on the Red Band. Under her boss "Red Nose" Chang, she ruled most of the opium huts and brothels in the harbor area. For a 15 percent share in sales for Nhu, the Corsicans under Bonaventura Francisi (cousin of the King of the Game Palace of the “French Connection”) now supplied the Red Gang under the general's protectorate. Before that, the Saigon Red Gang had laboriously obtained their material from Laos and Bangkok. While the repression of the opposition in Saigon by the iron hand of the Red Gang was very effective, the government's open corruption and cooperation with rural gangsters drove many patriotically-minded Vietnamese into the arms of the communists. That is why the USA had Diem and Nhu executed in 1963, but could not find a reliable partner for a strict military dictatorship.

After the Viet Cong blew up the US officers' club in Saigon on Christmas Eve 1964 and the American embassy on March 29, 1965, the aim was to revive the Nhus system. The choice fell on the General of the Air Force Ngyuyen Kao Ky and his executor General Nguyễn Ngọc Loan, who later became world famous for shooting a man suspected of being a Viet Cong in front of the camera. By the end of 1965, Loan had incorporated four of Saigon's six syndicates into his system of rule. The South Vietnamese Air Force took over the opium transport from the Corsicans, supplemented by the CIA airlines Air America, Continental Air Service and Lao Development Air Service.

This group got into a conflict with a group around the president and head of the military junta Nguyen Van Thieu, which prevailed in 1968. From 1970 onwards, heroin was also sold on a massive scale to American soldiers, of whom 20 percent were addicted by the summer of 1971. In 1972 around 500,000 American soldiers were stationed in Vietnam, more than 100,000 of whom regularly used heroin. Saigon fell on April 30, 1975. With the end of the Vietnam War, the last Kuomintang troops, together with fleeing Meo, moved their headquarters to the north of Thailand in the vicinity of the Shan and Karen.

Macau [edit | Edit source]

In addition to the global drug business and the blackmailing of Chinese business people, triads are an important mainstay in the casinos of Macau.[2]

Source [edit | Edit source]

  • Hans-Georg Behr: World power drug. The business of addiction. Econ-Verlag 1980, ISBN 3-430-11283-4, pages 151-168, 190-200
  • Roger Faligot, Rémi Kauffer: The master of shadows. Kang Sheng and the Chinese Secret Service 1927-1987. Pp. 41-48, especially pp. 46 + 47

Literature Edit source]

  • Berndt Georg Thamm: Dragons threaten the world: Chinese organized crime (triads). Verlag Deutsche Polizeiliteratur, Hilden / Rhld. 1996, ISBN 3-8011-0323-4
  • Thomas Weyrauch: China's neglected republic. 100 years in the shadow of world history. Part 1: 1911–1949. Longtai, Giessen (i. E.) Heuchelheim 2009, ISBN 978-3-938946-14-5.
  • Thomas Weyrauch: Destination Germany: Migrants from the People's Republic of China: Background, determinants and motives. Project (Edition Cathay), Dortmund 1995, ISBN 3-928861-38-7.
  • Gustave Schlegel: "The Hung League or Heaven-Earth-League", Batavia, Lange & Co., 1866
  • J. S. M. Ward and W. G. Stirling: "The Hung Society or The Society of Heaven and Earth", 3 volumes, The Baskerville Press Ltd., London, 1925