The History of Organized Crime in China: Part 5 of 5

May 10, 2014

View as Single Page

During one assassination attempt from one of his gangsters, Nicky Louie was shot in the head but managed to run to the police station to save himself.

He agreed to work with the police and the federal prosecutors.

However, to gain the government’s protection, he had to admit to his own crimes and was sentenced to fifteen years in prison.

This led to the end of the era of New York’s Chinatown Triads.

Today in the U.S., the Chinese Triads consist of an elusive array of constantly changing alliances among many small gangs scattered across the country.

The only bond between the gangs is the desire for making money. These Triads are involved in everything from human trafficking and gambling, to heroin smuggling.

For the first time, the Chinese American Triads are moving beyond the Chinese community and are willing to work with anyone as long as they make money.

FBI Unit Chief Kingman Wong says this makes the Triads in the U.S. a more significant threat to the safety of American citizens.

It’s not easy to define Chinese organized crime today. The Triads are difficult to penetrate.

The History Channel produced a documentary on Organized Crime in China. (click the previous link to see the entire video—about an hour)

Return to Part 4 or start with Part 1

View as Single Page

_______________

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.

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

                                                                                     About iLook China              

China’s Holistic Historical Timeline


The History of Organized Crime in China: Part 2 of 5

May 7, 2014

View as Single Page

A myth says that China’s Triads started with a group of Buddhist monks that were martial arts experts who went to the assistance of a Qing Emperor to defeat an enemy.

Later, after defeating this enemy, the emperor decided to get rid of these monks since he saw them as a future threat.

After the assassination of hundreds of monks, a handful survived and started the secret societies known as the “Heaven and Earth Association”.

However, the myth of the Buddhist monks is only a legend. The truth is that the Triads (organized crime in China) didn’t start from such a noble cause.

FBI Unit Chief Kingman Wong says that Chinese organized crime members identify themselves with these ancient heroes in order to glamorize their criminal activities.

According to scholars, the true story of the Triads starts during the 1700s in Fujian province along China’s southeast coast facing Taiwan.

Dian Murray, a historian at the University of Notre Dame, says that Fujian province was China’s Wild West. For protection, young men banded together in mutual aid societies. Soon, these societies turned to crime.

The “Heaven and Earth Association” took for its emblem an equilateral triangle, which explains why these gangs are called the Triads in the West.

There was no central figure or mob boss that controlled the Triad gangs, which were similar to America’s street gangs of today.

Then in 1787, the Qing Emperor discovered the existence of these gangs and declared war.

However, to survive, the Triads in Fujian province spread to every corner of the Qing Empire, to Southeast Asia and America’s China towns where they sold drugs and dealt in prostitution and gambling.

In time, one gang, known as the Green Gang, controlled the opium trade and Shanghai in the early 1900s. The Green Gang was involved in every criminal activity.

The History Channel produced a documentary on Organized Crime in China. (click the previous link to see the entire video—about an hour)

Continued in Part 3 on May 8, 2014 or return to Part 1

View as Single Page

_______________

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.

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China

China’s Holistic Historical Timeline


Tom Carter’s Review of Chris Thrall’s “Eating Smoke”

December 14, 2011

Don’ Do The Drug!
A review of Chris Thrall’sEating Smoke
By Tom Carter

What just might be the funniest if not first autobiography ever penned by a drug-addicted foreigner in China, Chris Thrall’s “Eating Smoke” contains more spiritual pollution than all of the titles on the Communist Party’s banned books list combined.

In a country whose history was irrevocably altered for the worst by the scourge of foreign-imported opium throughout the nineteenth century, it is no wonder that today’s China has one of the world’s least-tolerant anti-drug laws – including executions for traffickers. Basically, buying or selling drugs in China is a really stupid idea.

Enter Chris: “I’m not a stupid guy, just an average guy who does stupid things”.

Thrall, a 25 year-old Royal Marine who hastily quits the service to pursue a business venture in 1990’s-era Hong Kong, a city “where situations can only get worse,” just to find himself broke, homeless and fulfilling his own ominous prophecy.

Recalling the commando’s motto of “cheerfulness under adversity,” Thrall tries to make the best of his lowly situation by spending his time dancing in discos or hanging out in the notorious Chungking Mansions, “the world’s all-time greatest doshouse.”

The immigrant ghetto of Kowloon is not, however, the best influence on Thrall, who befriends all the wrong people, including a hebephile drug dealer from Ghana and a Filipina working girl, and soon succumbs to that favorite of Chungking pastimes–drugs.

To fund his new crystal meth habit, our detritivorous narrator forages the South China city-by-the-sea like a bottom-feeder for any job that will hire a white face.

From cubicle fixture to phone-book scams, English teacher to nightclub DJ, businessman to bouncer, Thrall manages to get fired from every gig dumb enough to hire a spun-out “chi sun gweilo” (crazy foreigner in Cantonese) who doesn’t sleep for 9 days at a time and tends to forget his own surname.

By the time Thrall reaches his last-resort of a job–as a doorman at a bar operated by the 14K, the largest Triad (Chinese crime family) in the world–he has been reduced to a hyper-paranoid shadow of his former self on the verge of drug psychosis.

“I would listen to the radio phone-ins, suspicious of the Cantonese conversation and wondering if people were calling in to report my movements,” he says during one of his many speed-soaked conspiracy theories.

What ensues is a hilarious amphetamine-paced cautionary tale of what NOT to do when addicted to drugs in Wan Chai gangland, “where the Dai Lo’s rule is law, pride is everything and life means nothing.”

Chris Thrall’s true story evokes Gregory David Roberts’ “Shantaram” and Alex Garland’s “The Beach,” both of which have been licensed to Hollywood, as “Eating Smoke” is sure to follow.

Also by Tom Carter Eating Smoke — a question and answer with author, Chris Thrall in addition to Harlequin Romance Invades China

____________________________

Travel Photographer Tom Carter traveled for 2 years across the 33 provinces of China to show the diversity of Chinese people in  China: Portrait of a People, the most comprehensive photography book on modern China published by a single author.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


The History of Organized Crime in China — Part 4/5

November 18, 2010

In 1937, Japan invaded China. On August 14, the Japanese launched a fierce assault on Shanghai. Chinese refugees fled to the foreign concessions hoping to be safe.

However, Du Yue-sheng had his Green Gang fight alongside Nationalist troops against the Japanese.

Three months later, Shanghai fell and Du fled to Hong Kong. The Triads would never be the same.

A month after the end of World War II, in 1945, Du returned to Shanghai.

Any respect and fear he had earned before the war had been lost. The Shanghainese saw him as a coward for running away from the Japanese and booed him when he was seen on the streets.

When the Communists won in 1949, broken and unhealthy, Du fled to Hong Kong and died there in 1951 at 66. The Communist Revolution ended the Green Gang in Shanghai.

 

However, the Communists did not destroy the Chinese underworld. With hundreds of gangs operating in other countries, power shifted out of mainland China.

In time, New York’s Chinatown would become the center of the Chinese Triads in the US.

In 1977, on Mott St. in the heart of New York’s Chinatown, a war raged between the Chinese gangs. One Chinatown gang boss, Nicky Louie, became the most feared gangster in New York’s Chinatown.

Nicky arrived in New York’s Chinatown in the 1960s along with tens of thousands of other Chinese soon after Congress changed the Chinese Exclusion Act allowing more Chinese into the US.

Work was hard to come by so young Chinese men organized street gangs modeled after the same gangs from China that the Communists had destroyed.

Nicky, ruthless and smart, quickly became the leader of a Triad gang called the Ghost Shadows.

Under Nicky’s leadership, the Ghost Shadows became more powerful and ruthless. However, Nicky wanted to control all of Chinatown. Success then made Nicky a target and he was shot many times but survived.

Return to The History of Organized Crime in China – Part 3

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


The History of Organized Crime in China — Part 2/5

November 17, 2010

A myth says that China’s Triads started with a group of Buddhist monks that were martial arts experts who went to the assistance of a Qing Emperor to defeat an enemy. 

Later, after defeating this enemy, the emperor decided to get rid of these monks since he saw them as a future threat.

After the assassination of hundreds, a handful survived and started the secret societies known as the “Heaven and Earth Association”.

However, the myth of the Buddhist monks is only a legend. The truth is that the Triads (organized crime in China) didn’t start from such a noble cause.

FBI Unit Chief Kingman Wong says that Chinese organized crime members identify themselves with these ancient heroes in order to glamorize their criminal activities.

According to scholars, the true story of the Triads starts during the 1700s in Fujian province along China’s southeast coast facing Taiwan.

Dian Murray, a historian at the University of Notre Dame, says that Fujian province was China’s Wild West. For protection, young men banded together in mutual aid societies. Soon, these societies turned to crime.

The “Heaven and Earth Association” took for its emblem an equilateral triangle, which explains why these gangs are called the Triads in the West.

There was no central figure or mob boss that controlled the Triad gangs, which were similar to America’s street gangs of today.

Then in 1787, the Qing Emperor discovered the existence of these gangs and declared war.

However, to survive, the Triads in Fujian province spread to every corner of the Qing Empire, to Southeast Asia and America’s China towns where they sold drugs and dealt in prostitution and gambling.

In time, one gang, known as the Green Gang, controlled the opium trade and Shanghai in the early 1900s. The Green Gang was involved in every criminal activity.

Return to The History of Organized Crime in China – Part 1

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.