Triad car jockey operations were in full swing on Cameron Lane yesterday despite a so-called “enforcement operation” by police on Saturday night.
Anti-triad police and the Kowloon West Regional Mobile Force say they launched the operation against illegal car jockeys across Yau Tsim Mong district on Saturday night, making no arrests but giving ninety-five $320 parking tickets at around five valet-parking blackspots, including well-known locations Cameron Lane and Man Cheong Street in Yau Ma Tei.
But the operation had little impact on the triad gangs who control public parking in the area. Two days after the ticketing bust, a visit to Cameron Lane revealed at least four gangsters shuffling cars around and taking car keys and money from customers. While the gang’s former “cashier desk” has been removed for now, the syndicate still occupies the corner spot with four stools, umbrellas, an overflowing tin-can ashtray and a black rucksack in which money is temporarily stashed.
Watched from an adjacent alleyway, the gang were seen to park around 20 cars an hour in a well-organised racket that re-sells public parking meters and public road space. Some sources have estimated the gangs take in as much as HK$5 million a year from the Cameron Road site alone. The gang members and school-age lookouts constantly smoke, with cigarette butts littering the whole street and pavement.
Transit Jam has questioned police and Transport Department on the issue since 2020: in May 2021, a police spokesman said “no criminal acts were found” as the result of investigation into the Cameron Lane jockeys, while parking tickets remain the only penalty levied on the broad-daylight criminal enterprise at that location.
From police operational photos, it can be estimated the Cameron Lane jockeys were hit with around 10 of the 95 parking tickets given on Saturday, for around $3,200 in fines, with around 60-70 tickets given on Man Cheong Street and the rest across other smaller hotspots.
Last year, police boasted they had busted the illegal car jockey syndicate at Man Cheong Street, arresting eight people and seizing 56 car keys, 30 Octopus cards and $40,000 in cash. But there too, the gang was back in full action the very next week, with Transit Jam witnessing gang members topping up re-sold parking meters, blocking off public roads and shuffling cars around to fit any space which a member of the public might leave free.
Police say drivers should not use illegal valet parking operators. “In addition to the possibility of being ticketed, the vehicles concerned may also violate the terms of vehicle insurance,” said a police statement.
The police have been approached for further comment on the return of the jockeys just days after the enforcement operation.