Police arrested five triad gang members yesterday for extortion, after they demanded money from a vehicle owner to use a public car park they illegally controlled.
On 7 September, a man parked his vehicle in a metered parking space in Tseung Kwan O Industrial Area, an industrial estate home to companies including TVB and the HK Trade Development Council. When the driver returned to the vehicle, he found a note requesting he call a mobile number. He called the number, whereupon a gang member advised him he must pay around $1,500 a month to use that space, on top of the public car park fees. Police did not elaborate on whether there was any threat of violence or consequences for not paying the monthly fee.
After the driver complained to police, a brief investigation led to the arrest yesterday of five men, aged between 17 and 23, on suspicion of extortion. The men were picked up from the industrial estate, the Ngau Tau Kok factory area and a housing estate in Kowloon Bay.
The metered car park at Tseung Kwan O Industrial Area has long been in the thrall of triad gangs, who even have their own kiosk running parking and car repair services. But police say this is the first time such an arrest has been made regarding triad parking lots in Tseung Kwan O.
Triad car jockeys still run unmolested in many other parts of the city, including Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui and Wan Chai. Transit Jam exposed the Cameron Lane car jockey gang in November 2020, but in May 2021 police said “no criminal acts were found”.