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When triads firebombed a Hong Kong restaurant and mahjong club, killing 6 and injuring 24, after non-payment of ‘protection’ money

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“Six die, 24 injured in firebomb attack,” ran a headline in the South China Morning Post on September 12, 1990.

“The horrific mass killing in a Hunghom restaurant and mahjong club has left the public fearful that Hongkong’s law and order is on the point of breaking down, a senior legislator warned last night,” the report continued.

“‘I shudder to think what is happening – it’s a very sad day for Hongkong indeed,’ said Mr Martin Lee Chu-ming, a member of the Fight Crime Committee and Omelco Security Panel. ‘Everyone knows there are triads [in Hongkong] but there is so little police can do to control them.’

“Mr Lee was speaking as Kowloon detectives continued a large-scale inquiry into the activities of local triad gangs following the pre-dawn fire-bombing attack on the King Ford Moon Restaurant and Mahjong Club, which killed six men.

The fire-scarred interior of the King Ford Moon Restaurant and Mahjong Club. Photo: SCMP

“Two men with knives had blocked the entrance to the club at about 2.45am while a third man went to the first floor and threw several home-made petrol bombs. All three escaped in a waiting car.”

A second Post report stated that the owners of the club had been “approached recently by triads demanding ‘festive money’, according to a female employee who escaped yesterday’s death-trap. Two of the shareholders were among the six who suffocated on the first floor.

Hong Kong police ‘hunting triad leader’ after second mahjong parlour stormed

“The woman, who asked not to be identified, said: ‘I felt something would go wrong soon because the bosses had been threatened to pay a protection fee or else they would regret the consequences.

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“‘Business has been going quite well since the opening of the restaurant early this year, but a few days ago some people came along and asked for festive money.

“‘They claimed it would ensure the restaurant would stay clear of trouble. The bosses refused to bow to requests,’ she claimed.”

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