Wan Kuok-koi

Wan Kuok-koi

Wan Kuok-koi (尹國駒; Cantonese: Wan Gwok-keui; Mandarin: Yǐn Guójū), popularly known as Broken Tooth Koi (崩牙駒; Cantonese: bang nga keui; Mandarin: bēng yá jū) was, until his arrest, the leader of the Macau branch of the 14K Triad.


Wan had a tough childhood, growing up in the slums of Macau and fighting for his life on the street, before rising through the ranks of the 14K. His rise was accelerated by the arrival of another gangster, Ng Wai, whom he began to work for. As Wan's position in the 14K got higher, Wai asked him to eliminate his boss, Mo-Ding Ping, an assignment which Wan accepted. This provoked a year-long turf war, finally coming to a close when Ping had to flee Macau to avoid a murder charge.

Gang war with former associate

However, tension between the two gangsters grew and Wai growing wary of Wan's high-profile persona. Teaming up with rival triad group the Shui Fong, a vicious turf war broke off in 1996 and 1997. In early 1997, an unsigned letter was sent to several newspapers in the area. It said: "Warning: From this day on it is forbidden to mention Broken Tooth Koi in the press; otherwise bullets will have no eyes, and knives and bullets will have no feelings."

In 1997 Wai briefly fled Macau to avoid two arrest warrants, one from a new anti-Triad law enacted in Macau, and one for drug-trafficking from China. However by August a Portuguese judge cleared Wan of all charges, and unexpectedly retired and moved back to Portugal the very next day.

Wan then proceeded to attack Wai in public, putting up posters claiming he was a drug trafficker and declaring that anyone visiting Wai's casinos would become his enemy. Ultimately, Wan amassed enough power and influence and took over Wai's rackets completely. By this time he was earning $6 million a month from his legal gambling establishments.

Involvement in the film industry and arrest

In the autumn of 1997, Wan approached Hong Kong movie producer Henry Fong Ping to produce a film based on his life. The result was the 1998 movie Casino starring Simon Yam as Giant, a triad boss living the high life in the Macau underworld. Wan agreed to extensive research meetings to make the film as accurate as possible, as well as using his influence on Macau to help the crew film.

A week before opening night, Wan was arrested and charged with illegal gambling, loan-sharking, criminal association, and attempted murder of the chief of police. In November 1999, he and a number of associates were convicted, and he was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Private and public life

Much like Nicky Barnes and Al Capone, Wan kept a very stylish public appearance, driving expensive sports cars and wearing expensive suits and jewellery. Prior to his prison sentenced he went through three marriages and has fathered six children.

As a result of his gangster lifestyle he has also acquired a number of wounds. He has been shot twice and has had his arms badly mangled by meat cleavers, and as a result cannot straighten his two middle fingers.


* [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/1998/int/980420/asia.tales_from_the_drag17.html TIME magazine - Tales from the Dragonhead]
* [http://www.iht.com/articles/1998/06/11/prial.t.php International Herald Tribune - Capturing Macau's gangland on camera]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/533226.stm BBC News - 'Broken Tooth' goes to jail]

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