n Institute for Security Studies Papers - Triad societies and Chinese organised crime in South Africa

Volume 2001, Issue 48
  • ISSN : 1026-0404



Since the 1970s, Chinese criminal groups have been engaged in activities such as the illegal trading in shark fins and rhino horn. In the 1980s, this extended to the harvesting and export of abalone, the importation of counterfeit goods and trafficking in illegal immigrants. When South Africa's law enforcement agencies moved towards investigating organised crime, the picture of Chinese organised criminal groups with links to the Triad societies of China and Taiwan became clearer. These groups also branched out into serious crimes such as drug-trafficking, prostitution, money-laundering, fraud and kidnapping. Police work has been hampered by, among others, the difficulty of infiltrating Chinese criminal groups and the lack of a dedicated investigation unit.

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