Triad boss takes starring role in court drama

IT IS like a gangster movie saga only it happens to be real and the movie about the saga is being paid for by the king of Macau's gangsters, "Broken Tooth" Koi.

Yesterday "Broken Tooth", whose real name is Wan Kuok-koi was charged with a host of serious offences connected with organised crime. While he was being charged, preparations were under way for the the premiere of a film about Mr Wan's life, paid for by the principal subject.

"Broken Tooth" (who has now had his teeth capped) is reputed to be head of Macau's 14K Triad gang with an estimated membership of some 10,000, making it an enormous organisation in a territory with around half a million inhabitants.

The weekend arrest of Mr Wan, two bodyguards colourfully known as Chiu Yan (Superman) and Ah Gwei (Ghost) and others, followed a failed attempt on the life of Macau's police chief Antonio Marques Baptista, who was saved by the quick thinking of his dog who sniffed explosives in a car Mr Baptista was about to enter.

The chief then went after his man in person. Within hours he burst into a private room of a restaurant at the gaudy Hotel Lisboa where Mr Wan and other alleged gang members were watching a Hong Kong television programme about "Broken Tooth's" exploits.

Mr Baptista cuffed Mr Wan and triumphantly led him out of the hotel where a bevy of reporters were waiting to record the arrest. Neither the captive nor the captor are publicity shy. Mr Baptista is battling to end an eruption of gangland violence over control of high roller gambling on the fringes of the legitimate casino activity which keeps Macau's economy afloat. He sees himself as a cross between "Rambo" and "Dirty Harry".

Mr Wan describes himself as an "entertainment businessman" but makes little attempt to hide the strong-arm side of his activities. Last month he told an American magazine, "anyone who's done something bad to me will never escape. I won't kill him. I'll make him take a voyage to another world".

The film about his life, sponsored by Mr Wan, is called Casino, and it makes no bones about "Broken Tooth's" gangsterism. Indeed it shows how he muscled his way up the ranks to become the boss of the 14K Triad. A ruthless gang war, waged for the better part of a year, also appears to have made Mr Wan the criminal king-pin of Macau. The war has involved the killing of officials and assassinations in the middle of town in broad daylight.

"I'm not afraid of anyone," Mr Wan is quoted as saying, "there is no one left in Macau worth being afraid of." The gangland boss certainly does not seem to be afraid of the law. He has slipped in and out of custody and had highly paid lawyers tie up the courts while he remained out on the streets.

The authorities are seriously embarrassed by the outbreak of gang violence in the normally rather sleepy enclave.

The Macau government has arrested a total of 20 people "who are leading figures in one of the criminal organisation's active in the territory" alongside Mr Wan. Yesterday new laws were enacted to help the government crackdown on organised crime.

Even Stanley Ho, the powerful boss of the company which runs Macau's casinos, has proved unable to have any impact on the gang warfare. It remains to be seen whether the law will finally manage to put the big league crime bosses out of business.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Test Analyst

£20000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: An experienced Tes...

Mechanical Design Engineer

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: MECHANICAL D...

SQL DBA (2005/2008/2012, projects, storage requirements)

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

Copywriter - Corporate clients - Wimbledon

£21000 - £23000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Copywriter - London As a Copywrite...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried