Thu, Nov 08, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Hundreds of alleged gangsters nabbed before gang funeral

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A nationwide crackdown on gangs was launched on Tuesday morning and 931 alleged gangsters had been arrested by yesterday morning, the National Police Agency (NPA) said yesterday.

Twenty-two gang bosses, 201 gang members and 708 other gangsters were arrested in the crackdown, the agency said in a statement.

The crackdown came on the eve of the funeral for Bamboo Union gang leader Chen Chi-li (陳啟禮) today. Chen died of pancreatic cancer in Hong Kong on Oct. 4.

The police agency said the Bamboo Union was the main target of the crackdown, and six leaders of the gang's branches had been apprehended.

Alleged branch leader Chang Wei-an (張維安) and eight of his alleged gang members were arrested yesterday for selling drugs in Ilan County.

Chang had been chosen to be one of the 10 Bamboo Union pallbearers for today's funeral, which police said was an indication of his status in the gang.

Police said Chang and his gang members were dressed all in black when they were arrested. The suspects reportedly said they were preparing to wear the clothes to the funeral.

Alleged branch leader Chao Fang-mo (趙芳模) was arrested with 26 of his alleged gang members on Tuesday.

Police said Chao had become branch leader three months ago and had recruited a number of new members.

Police said members of the Heavenly Way Gang (天道盟) had also been targeted in the crackdown, and several of its leaders had been apprehended.

Police said the gangsters would be charged with violating the Organized Crime Prevention Act (組織犯罪條例).

The NPA said hundreds of police officers would be stationed at the funeral hall to monitor Chen Chi-li's funeral. It said it wanted to ensure that gang members did not use the funeral to promote gang activity or recruit new members.

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