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Macau Security Force

On December 20, 1999, the various police force branches, with the exception of the customs police, who were reassigned to the Financial Service Department, were merged into a single force - the Macau Security Force - under the supervision of the secretary of security. At the time of the handover of Macau to the People's Republic of China, plans were in place to modernize the police force with the goal of better positioning the force to combat organized crime and to stop illegal immigration.

Organized Crime

Increasing crime in the 1990s was attributed to organized crime organizations (triads). One major organization, the 14K Triad, was reported in the mid-1990s to have had a complex and secretive financial and communications network and some 10,000 members. The gambling industry is the major focus of organized crime in Macau. When the 14K Triad's attempt to ally with other triads failed in 1996, gangland violence broke out.

With the integration of Macau into the PRC, greater attention has been paid to internal security matters, and the Guangdong Province Public Security Bureau and Macau Security Force began cooperating in a crackdown on organized crime. Within Macau, an organized crime team, comprising personnel from the Security Department and the Justice Department, work on the crackdown on and prosecution of major crime cases. Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau-wah has declared his commitment to "exhaust all possible legal means to smash criminal gangs."