State of New Jersey Commission of Investigation 1989 Report
Asian Organized Crime Groups

China, Japan and other far eastern countries have been plagued by powerful and secretive criminal groups for centuries. Many of these ancient Asian organized criminal groups have followed the path of oriental emigration and are now active in many North American communities, including New Jersey's.

The increase in the Asian population of the Middle Atlantic states has been dramatic, and so has the rise of organized criminal associations of those with Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese or Korean origins. Although the activities of Asian criminal organizations are directed mainly against persons of similar ethnic background, the groups also pose a threat to the general citizenry.

The current Asian population of New Jersey is approximately 55,000. Although most reside in Middlesex County and northward, the large Asian communities in New York City and Philadelphia, with their various documented oriental criminal groups, impact directly on adjacent regions in both northern and southern New Jersey.

The scheduled return of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China in 1997 is expected to set off a new wave of migration, which could compound the Asian crime problem in this country. Some 70,000 Triad members, along with many others of the 5.5 million people in the crown colony, may emigrate to Canada, Western Europe and the United States. Chinese criminal groups are expected to follow the money wherever investors go. Recent history indicates that under Chinese supervision there would be more stringent enforcement of all criminal statutes. The prospective acquisition of Hong Kong by China has caused an exodus of Asian investments from Hong Kong to Chinese communities in this country.

In October, 1984, the President's Commission on Organized Crime conducted the first extensive investigation into Asian criminal activities in the United States. This inquiry produced information that Chinese and Japanese criminals had developed links with La Cosa Nostra (LCN) groups in this country to promote the importation, distribution and sale of heroin.

Asian or Oriental organized crime is now a serious matter in many parts of the world. For many law enforcement agencies, the issue is far from academic. Police departments in the United States who have encountered these groups know them to be dangerous and highly motivated. But for most American law enforcement agencies, including the majority in New Jersey, Asian organized crime is still an abstraction that may appear remote and, perhaps, beyond their comprehension. Difficulties exist in obtaining information from affected communities whose ethnic populations tolerate gambling, accept extortion fatalistically and distrust governmental authority. Most law enforcement agencies in the United States have also found it difficult to cope with Asian criminals because they are ignorant of oriental languages, culture and customs.

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