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Big Circle Boys: Revisiting the Case of the Flaming Eagles

NCJ Number
Global Crime Volume: 9 Issue: 4 Dated: November 2008 Pages: 306-331
Alex Chung
Date Published
November 2008
26 pages
This paper examines the foundation upon which the notion of the Asian group, the ‘Big Circle Boys’ (BCB) as a criminal group was based.
During the last 20 years, Asian criminals, known as the ‘Big Circle Boys’ (BCB) have caused major concerns to law enforcement agencies in both Canada and the United States. The ‘Flaming Eagles’ is shown to be an Asian organization comprised of several BCB subgroups, unified by leader Johnny Kon. Kon became the leader of half of the most influential BCB factions in Hong Kong in the 1980s. This Asian criminal group had membership procedures and rules and was primarily involved in the heroin trade. Within the organization, there was no clear division of labor except for the specialized role of the courier. The Flaming Eagles were found to best fit the criminal firm model, since it lacked the territoriality characteristic of an organized criminal group (OCG) and did not provide protection as mafias do. This paper examines whether there is any basis for identifying the BCB as a criminal group. The background of the BCB is briefly discussed, and a case study from the ‘first-generation’ BCB is presented. Figures, table, and appendixes A-E


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