Asian Gang Raids Follow Reputed Crime Kingpin’s Hong Kong Arrest
NEW YORK (AP) _ The suspected mastermind behind much of the smuggling of Chinese immigrants to America was arrested in Hong Kong and could be extradited here on murder charges.
Reputed crime boss Kwok Ling-kay is believed to have organized the ill- fated voyage of the Golden Venture, which ran aground off New York in June while trying to slip into the United States. Ten passengers drowned and 277 other Chinese aliens were taken into custody.
Kwok, 27, was to appear in court Wednesday for a hearing on extradition to the United States. New York police and the FBI had been seeking Kwok in connection with slayings in a gang-related shootout in Manhattan’s Chinatown this year.
He was arrested Friday in Hong Kong at the request of the FBI, police said Sunday. Hours later in New York City, police and the FBI arrested 14 people in raids on strongholds of Asian organized crime, including the Fuk Ching gang, which Kwok leads, police said.
They were to be arraigned today in federal court.
Five other suspects already are in jail serving time on unrelated charges. The New York Times reported today that authorities were searching for six more Kwok associates.
Those arrested were not identified, and the specific charges against the men were not released. The FBI said documents in the case were sealed.
Beyond that, the agency would only say that the raids were in connection ″with a major Asian organized crime investigation.″
Kwok has reportedly traveled freely between the United States, China and Taiwan despite being deported from the United States in 1988. His many aliases include Ah Kay and Guo Liang Chi.
New York Newsday reported Sunday he was charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder in the Jan. 8 shootout in Chinatown.
Police say the Fuk Ching gang, named for China’s southern Fujian province, deals heroin, is involved in protection rackets and plays a dominant role in the smuggling of desperate Chinese to the United States, charging them up to $30,000 for passage.