For two thousand years, secret societies have been part of Chinese culture.
Most of these secret societies were harmless but a few were highly organized criminal organizations. Under emperors and Communists, in war and peace, Chinese crime lords have acted as shadow governments with their own laws and severe forms of punishment.
In recent decades, Chinese gangs have moved into major American cities competing with Russian gangs, Italians, Sicilians, Ukrainians, Japanese, Latinos, etc. Today, these gangs deal in more than gambling and drugs. They deal in human trafficking too.
Over the last few decades, the business of smuggling people into the US by Chinese organized crime has boomed.
Many poor Chinese want to start a new life in the United States, which is known as Gold Mountain.
However, the risks are big and costly. Each person may have to pay as much as 40 thousand dollars to the smugglers often ending in a form of slavery in America until the debt is paid.
Kingman Wong of the FBI says these smugglers are like the flu because they are always mutating their methods and alliances to find new ways to smuggle illegal aliens in to the US. There are hundreds of independent groups operating like this around the globe.
However, the beginnings of all this illegal activity may be traced to one group from the past — the Triads. The first such group was known as the “Heaven and Earth Association” and may have started in 1761 AD.
The History Channel produced a documentary on Organized Crime in China. (click the previous link to see the entire video—about an hour)
Continued on May 7, 2014 in The History of Organized Crime in China: Part 2
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.
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