In January 2016, Chinese authorities shut down Hong Kong’s biggest black market for drugs and illegal weapons, dubbed the Zion Market, in a move that marked a new era for the city.
The Zion market was one of the largest in the world and used to sell a wide range of illegal goods.
But for the past two years, there has been a resurgence of activity in the market and it has become one of Hong Kongs most dangerous places to buy and sell.
The Zions main business is to transport goods across the border to mainland China, and this year, the authorities shut it down for two months as part of the crackdown on the market.
The market’s former owners have been trying to get it reopened, but they have been arrested, charged and jailed.
The Zions owners are currently being tried in court in the central district of Kowloon, but the trial is scheduled to start later this month.
In a statement, the Chinese Embassy in Hong Kong said the Zions owner had been “failing in his efforts to restore the market to normalcy”.
“The Chinese government should ensure that the public does not suffer any adverse consequences and that the people of Hong [Kowloon] have full confidence in the authorities’ ability to enforce the law,” it said.
Zion Market: A tale of two citiesIn 2014, authorities shut the market down after a raid on the site uncovered a stash of cocaine worth more than HK$20 million.
After two years of crackdown, Hong Kong police raided the ZION Market and arrested dozens of people, including some of the Ziton owners.
Since then, there have been reports of drug dealers selling weapons to mainland Chinese, but no one has been arrested.
Hong Kong police said the market had reopened after authorities arrested a number of its owners in March this year.
But the government says the illegal activities continue, and has not stopped the illegal trading.
“In recent months, some of our agents have been involved in the illegal trafficking of drugs, weapons and other goods to and from mainland China,” a statement from the Hongkong police said.
“Our objective is to maintain the law and to restore order and safety to the ZIONS market.”
Last month, the Zioned Market owner was arrested for illegally trading firearms to mainland Hong Kong, according to local media.
A Hong Kong court sentenced the Zoanos owner to five years in jail for trafficking firearms to Hong Kong.
It was not clear whether the Hongcouver website has been able to verify whether the Zison Market was shut down for the same reason.
More to come.