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Police investigating the killing of six people in a Chinese restaurant in northern Germany lost their only potential witness when a seventh victim died in a hospital from his gunshot wound.

"We didn't have much hope of questioning him in any case," said a police spokesman. The man had been taken to hospital in critical condition on Sunday night.

Three men and three women were shot in the head execution-style in the "Lin Yue" restaurant, a popular, well-appointed establishment in the small town of Sittensen, population 10,000, near the motorway linking the cities of Hamburg and Bremen. Some of the victims had their hands tied. They were found shortly after midnight in different parts of the restaurant by the 47-year-old husband of one of the murdered women.

All the victims are believed to be Asian and worked at the restaurant. They included the married couple that owned the restaurant. Police said a two-year-old girl survived the massacre but have refused to give details about her to protect her.

A Triad crime?

Forensic experts are still combing the restaurant for evidence. Police say there may be connection with organized crime despite the restaurant's location in a small town and the fact that the Triads, or Chinese mafia, haven't been much in evidence in the German crime scene so far.

"We don't believe the activities of Chinese groups in Germany to be especially significant in volume. Of all registered organized crime suspects in 2005 fewer than 1 percent were Chinese citizens," Dietmar Müller of the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) told the Bild newspaper.

The word Triad derives from the symbol of the underground organization, a triangle denoting heaven, earth and man. There are many different Triad societies, some numbering 50, others with thousands of members.

They are active in mainland China, Hong Kong and elsewhere in Asia, but also among Chinese immigrants in North America, South Africa and Australia. In Britain, they are believed to be active in London and Manchester. The Triads are involved in drug trafficking, money laundering, illegal gambling, prostitution, counterfeiting of software and DVDs and racketeering.

Rumor has it that the presence and size of a fish tank in a Chinese restaurant is an indication of whether it pays protection money, and how much. The more fish in the tank, the more money the restaurant has to pay. In the US, Triads are believed to have extorted restaurant owners by charging $500 per fish for fish food. A dead fish found floating in the tank is a warning to the owners.

The "Lin Yue" had an indoor pond with fish, but it's difficult to believe that the Triads would bother with a lone Chinese restaurant in a small German town, even though the giant port of Hamburg, famous for its red light district, is only half an hour away by car.

The interior minister of the state of Lower Saxony where Sittensen is located said: "As far as I know nothing like this has ever happened in Lower Saxony. With six murder victims it's a disastrous case."


The part about the fish tank is really cool.
Daddy's Little Ninja
Yes, but most places I know in the US do not have fish.
My favorite Chinese restaurant has a fish tank... In Norway...

Triads? Yeah right. nyahnyah.gif

Nifty piece of Triad trivia though. Thanks for posting that.
I watched a news report yesterday that said tha Triads are active in Berlin and Rhine-Ruhr, but not on North Germany.

Oh, and the town is only 15 kilometers away from my town.
There are a bunch of cheap chinese places around where I and DLN live. none have fish tanks. in fact the only one that does have a fish tank is probably one of the best chinese restaurants north of Philly.
Huh, oddly I can't think of an Asian restaurant around here without a fish tank. Though I was always under the impression the fish were nice ambiance/considered lucky.
Yeah me too. I guess we were surprised that fish in a restaurant are not nice ambience/lucky, but "if those fish die it's execution time"

I would laugh if a free water spirit used hidden life on a fish, and therefore when the Triads come to send a message, they find themselves engulfed and then eaten by a school of fishes.
This is interesting. One of my neighborhood Chinese Restaurants has fish, not in a tank but in a rock-garden like fountain in the lobby. Oddly enough we did see a dead fish there not too long ago.
Two suspects had been caught by the police yesterday.

news article
Oh that's good, stopped at a road block with drugs and a piece of paper with the layout of the restuarant.
Nearly a classic. biggrin.gif
what does that article say in english?
Daddy's Little Ninja
I was thinking about this. It is only the expensive places that have fish tanks.
So wait, every time a goldfish goes belly-up it's a warning from the Triads? Doesn't that seem a little too subtle to anyone else? We're not talking about waking up next to a severed horse head, here, we're talking about a dead fish. Sometimes fish just die.

Unless their warning is opening the store one morning to find a dead tuna floating in a goldfish tank, I think I'm going to have to call BS on that one.
Daddy's Little Ninja
I had a gold fish die when I was 8! Does that mean I offended the Triads by not sharing juice? frown.gif
QUOTE (Daddy's Little Ninja)
I was thinking about this. It is only the expensive places that have fish tanks.

true, but that could easily be because only the expensive places can afford them.
QUOTE (Moon-Hawk)
So wait, every time a goldfish goes belly-up it's a warning from the Triads? Doesn't that seem a little too subtle to anyone else?

I don't really know how criminal organizations operate, but I suspect the restaurant might have an idea that the Triad could be annoyed before the fish goes belly-up. It's not like they communicate, passive-aggressively, solely through a language of fish deaths.

QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
It's not like they communicate, passive-aggressively, solely through a language of fish deaths.

Ha! That part made me laugh.

Still, if the restaurant already has an idea that the Triads are upset then the fish warning is sort of unecessary, right? What does it prove?
Proprietor of the Lucky Wok: "Those Triads talk big, but they don't dare come into my establishment and tell me what to do! They wouldn't dare!" <sees dead fish> "Dear god, is there any depths to which those savages will not stoop!? How can a man be capable of such barbarism!? We'd better do what they say....they kill fish!"

I mean really.
Herald of Verjigorm
QUOTE (Moon-Hawk)
Still, if the restaurant already has an idea that the Triads are upset then the fish warning is sort of unecessary, right? What does it prove?

It proves that the Triads can get in and kill exactly what they mean to without alerting any cops or bouncers.
it's more like "i've been behind on my protection payments, but i don't think the Triads are angry at me yet. ...oh, shit, dead fish! that's the last warning!"
Also keep in mind, if you understand a dead fish is a murder threat and I understand it's a murder threat, and you have a reason to fear being murdered (because say you're behind on payments), then when a dead fish turns up not only does it communicate effectively, but it's also not evidence you can bring to the cops. A horse head in your bed is a pretty clear legal precedent for getting legal protection of some sort. A dead angel fish is not. It drives home the threat without putting any more threat on the Triads.
mfb's got the idea of what I'm driving at. Dead fish, no worries. Think the Triad might be pissed, some worries but it's all good. Think the Triad might be pissed and there's a dead fish floating in your tank, make sure the Triad stops being pissed.

That or stock up on Excalibats.

It didn't say, but maybe the fish isn't just dead, maybe it's gutted or full of bullet holes. Well, that's not really the Triad's style I guess. The Triads ARE an extremely subtle bunch. You know about all the numerology, hand gesture conversations, etc.

Also, for those of you thinking about the fish in all the asian restaurants you've ever been to, remember that the Triads are mostly a Hong-Kong/mainlandish thing. Over here, Triads are known as Tongs and are less big on all the old school rituals.

However, I did go in an asian (not chinese specifically) restaurant once, and they had a tank with a big fish and a little fish. My date asked about it, cause it was kinda cute. The waitress said it was a luck thing. If the little fish ever stuck his head out of the tiny little rock he lived under, the big fish would eat him, and that's bad luck. As long as the little fish does not get eaten, then it's good luck and the restaurant will not go out of business.
hahahahaha, man, does that ever sound like a metaphor.
Daddy's Little Ninja
Yakuza are more subtle. Not Triads
what does that article say in english?

Two guys from Vietnam (who lived in germany for some years now) were stopped on a highway heading to the netherlands or rhein-ruhr in what was a routine check by the police. The cops found a little bit cocaine in the car and a plan/ layout of the restaurant.

A few minutes ago I saw a report who said that a similar murder happened in Berlin some years ago, in a vietnamese restaurant and now the police is trying to figure out if the two suspects have any connection to it too.

Daddy's Little Ninja

This is a report, in English, on the guys.
Sums it up good.
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