The Triad : Chinese Gangs

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The Triad: Chinese Gangs
Triads are a system of organized crime gangs that are closely knit and very often family run. Referred to as the Chinese Mafia, Triads are active in numerous countries including China, Taiwan, Southeast parts of Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and many Chinatown scattered throughout the United States (Huston, 2001). Believed to have in excess of 250,000 members, Chinese Triads are one of the most expansive crime organizations in the world (Booth, 2000). While the term “Triad” is relatively modern, its use comes from the triangle markings that are used on banners and flags by the Hung clan. The Hung clan is largely considered to be the start of all things Triad.
The origins of Triad gangs can be traced back to 1000 B.C. in a centuries old secret society. In this time period, peasants, often preyed upon by dynasty leaders, attempted to protect themselves by forming various self-help groups. According to legend, Chinese monks, bent on fighting injustice, formed an extremely powerful political group who were able to bring down Chinese emperors who were considered “evil” (Booth, 2000).
Most of the current research dates out of the late 18th Century Hung Society where groups of society would help foreign traders smuggle large amounts of opium throughout China. By the turn of the 19th Century, secret societies were mounting an opposition in response to the harsh rules of the Manchu Qing dynasty, who were regarded heavily as barbaric outsiders
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