The Chinese transnational organized crime organizations are based out of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan and some other countries with significantly high Chinese population. One such branch is known as Triad.
Triad was coined by the British authorities in colonial Hong Kong referring to them as usage of triangular imagery. Though not proved, it is commonly believed that originally they were part of revolutionary movements like White Lotus Society, Heaven and Earth Society, Boxer Rebellion and Taiping Rebellion.
The Triads get themselves involved in various kinds of crimes like extortion, money laundering, trafficking and prostitution. Smuggling and counterfeiting goods like video, music, software, clothes, money, watches and many more are also some of the other notorious activities that they take part in. Below given is the hierarchy of the gang.
The Structural Composition
- Numeric codes are used by the Triads to differentiate between the positions and ranks within the organization. The Chinese numerology based on Ching inspires these numbers.
- The Mountain or the Dragon Master is coded by 489 and 438 is used for Deputy Mountain Master. So a 438 will denote a Grass Slipper, the Mountain master’s proxy, the Incense Master who oversees inductions and the Vanguard who assists the Incense Master.
- The Red Pole or the Military Commander who oversee the offensive and defensive operations is referred to by the number 426.
- A soldier or any rank and file member is known by 49.
- The White Paper Fan known by 415 advices on the business and financial front and the Straw Sandal known by 432 caters as a liaison between the different units.
- An undercover law enforcement agent or spy from a different Triad is called 25 and is popularly known as snitch in Hong Kong.
- The uninitiated members just like the Mafia associates are known as Blue Lanterns do not have any code.
So the Rank Wise Levels would be
- Shan Chu or the Mountain Master (489) is the elected group leader.
- Fu Shan Chu or Deputy Mountain master (438) is the Deputy Leader.
- Heung Chu or the Incense Master (438) performs the ritualistic ceremonies of initiation and promotion.
- Sin Fung or Vanguard (438) recruits, organizes and assists ceremonies.
- Hung Kwan or Red Poles (426) are originally from the military back ground but are Gang leaders now commanding 50 men.
- Pak Tsz Sin or White Paper Fan (415) is an administration officer.
- Cho Hai or The Straw Sandal (432) organizes meeting and gang fights.
- 49 Chai or the ordinary members (49) are the new recruits or the foot soldiers.