Five Hong Kong police officers were arrested this morning for allegedly planting evidence in an attempt to bust a triad gambling operation, an illegal operation exposed by — an undercover cop already embedded in the triad.
According to Apple Daily, the five cops, along with two triad members they had recruited to help them, were arrested on suspicion of conspiring to pervert the course of justice. Six of the men — including the five officers in question — were released on bail with orders to report back to police in late July, but one man is still being detained for further inquiries.
The five officers, who are from the Organized Crime and Triad Bureau (OCTB) for Tsuen Wan district, have been suspended from their duties following an investigation into their operation against the Wo Shing Wo Triad group.
That allegedly rogue operation resulted in the arrests of 63 people on June 30, who were detained on suspicion of unlawful assembly, possession of offensive weapons in an unlicensed place, and other triad-related offenses.
The two men were persuaded by the officers to help frame the gang by placing contraband like poker tables and gambling-related arcade games at the scene, on.cc reports.
Among the items reportedly seized were HK$40,000 (US$5,000) in cash, butcher’s knives, softball bats, marijuana, aircraft game consoles, and “fishing game” machines used for gambling.
According to Ming Pao, both men had been recruited by the five officers to be informants.
The incident came to light following a tip off from an undercover agent, who had been sent by the OCTB to investigate alleged drug trafficking by the Wo Shing Wo gang.
Local media have dubbed the incident an Infernal Affairs-type case, referencing the Hong Kong crime thriller about two undercover cops who infiltrate a triad.
The news comes on the heels of a June 15 SCMP report which revealed that 26 police officers have been arrested so far this year, putting the city on a troubling pace that would far exceed the 29 police arrested in all of 2017.