2008-07-18 16:02:30 GMT 2008-07-19 00:02:30 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English
HONG KONG, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Police in southern China have arrested 1,664 people and seized illicit goods worth more than 118million HK dollars in a major joint operation against organized crime, Hong Kong police said Friday.
The joint operation codenamed "Thunderbolt 08" was carried out by police of the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao and the mainland province of Guangdong between June 1 and July 16, Hong Kong police said.
An important objective of the operation was also to raise public awareness about crime prevention before the Beijing Olympics, with the equestrian events of the Games hosted by Hong Kong, said Yu Mun-sang, chief superintendent of Organized Crime and Triad Bureau, Hong Kong Police.
"Under the effective intelligence exchange mechanism amongst the Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macao police, we have effectively deterred and detected many serious triad acts and interdicted their financial sources," he said.
Police searched about 3,700 locations including discos, amusement game centers, massage establishments and residential units in the 46-day operation and shut down 32 vice establishments and 20 illegal gambling dens and arrested 1,664 people.
Police also seized more than 17 kilograms of ketamine, 13.7 kilograms of cocaine and various types of psychotropic drugs worth over 14.6 million HK dollars (1.87 million U.S. dollars) during the operation, which Hong Kong police said was aimed at illegal activities of triad societies and the organized crime syndicates, neutralizing cross-border crimes, and interdicting the criminals' source of income.
About 300,000 pornographic and pirated compact discs worth more than 12 million HK dollars (1.54 million U.S. dollars) were also seized.
The total seizure was worth more than 118 million HK dollars (15.13 million U.S. dollars), which also included soccer and horseracing betting records, contraband cigarettes as well as counterfeit items such as leather bags and watches.
"In view of the results in past joint operations, we believed the operation was one of the effective ways to tackle illegal triad activities," Yu said.