November 24, 2005 21:30
Chinese Triads, Japanese Yakuza and the Russian mafia are making inroads in Korea, a secret service report warns.
The National Intelligence Service submitted the report to a National Assembly oversight committee on Thursday. It warns that mainland Chinese triads, which are estimated to have some 1 million members, are involved in trafficking of drugs and people, while Hong Kong triads specialize in the purchase of luxury goods with fake credit cards. The NIS said four members of a Hong Kong triad were charged with such offenses in September.
The Sumiyoshikai Yakuza ring took over a hotel here in the name of a Korean-Japanese member in July, the INS said. In cooperation with domestic organized crime, eight Japanese organizations including the biggest Yakuza ring, the Yamaguchigumi, are trying to enter the Korean financial and real estate markets, the secret service says.
Twenty of the notoriously unsubtle Russian mafia gangs set up fisheries businesses in Korea and are meddling in the trade, it said.
The annual domestic damage caused by Asian mobs is estimated at up to US$5 million.
The U.S. bears the brunt of damage from Asian credit card forgery, with $5.34 million, followed by Korea with a reported $5.08 million in losses. According to the NIS, the damage at home stood at W10 billion for last year and this year combined.
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