HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Reformed Gangster Talks Tough To Teens
Pubdate: Sun, 08 Feb 2004
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 The Province
Author: Lena Sin


The stab wounds were once proof of how tough he was. But now, the reformed 
"big boss" of a Hong Kong triad uses his scars to urge teens to stay away 
from gangs and drugs.

Peter Chan Shun Chi flew in from Hong Kong to talk to local youths last 
night about life in organized crime.

After more than a decade as the leader of a triad with a following of more 
than 100 members, Chan now spends his time working at rehab centres in 
China, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

He was invited by the Enoch Youth Outreach Society to speak yesterday in 
Richmond, where there are an estimated 1,200 youth gang members, according 
to an RCMP report released last year.

Chan says he, too, was a teen when he got his start in the triad.

"I started taking a group of people to fight all the time. I wanted to mark 
my own 'territory,' to have face within the triad," he said. "But once I 
made my mark, I still felt empty. So I started to take drugs.

"I knew it wasn't good for me. But I was really scared. Within the triads, 
you're beating and killing all the time. I was scared of being killed 
myself. I was stabbed so many times that I became scared."

Chan was addicted to cocaine for more than nine years.

"During that time, I was committing a lot of crime and ended up in jail. I 
started thinking, how did I end up here? I wanted to change," he said.

Chan has been clean for 30 years and his story has been made into a film 
starring Canto-pop king Andy Lau. He now spends most of his time convincing 
teens not to follow his path.

In Richmond, RCMP say three well-organized street gangs are believed to 
have in excess of 400 members each involved in illicit drugs, home 
invasions, extortions, loan-sharking, counterfeit credit cards and violence.
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