Celebrating Agents of Asian Ancestry: Kingman Wong
Kingman Wong shares his experience as a former FBI agent of Asian ancestry.
My name is Kingman Wong. I entered on duty 1988 and I retired in 2012 for almost 25 years in the FBI.
My first office was back to San Francisco. I was processed out of San Francisco and I was fortunate enough to go back to San Francisco. And at the time I was told that San Francisco office needed special agents with language skill, Chinese language skills. So I was able to get back there. Soon after that I became involved in the Asian Organized Crime Program.
It was a very interesting and challenging program to work because we were dealing with some dangerous people. And these organized crime groups, they were involved in murder, extortion, loan sharking, drug trafficking, running prostitution, forcing people to become prostitutes. Basically they were doing everything that would make money for the organization. Therefore we were tasked to go after these organized crime groups because they were at the same time victimizing the community, especially the Chinese community. So it was a very meaningful and worthwhile assignment to be going after some of these groups.
And then during the course of the assignment I became involved in undercover operations where work as an undercover agent, both in San Francisco and in other states in the country as well as in Hong Kong and also in Thailand. We were working undercover operations, going after these organized crime groups, the Triads in Asia, the secret societies. It was a very, very fun assignment but at the same time very challenging.
Having the cultural and language understanding, it did help quite a bit because I was able to understand the culture, especially with these organized crime groups; they are mainly primarily ethnic Chinese. So it was much easier for me to understand them, but at the same time it was easier for me to recruit them as informants as well.
I mean in terms of infiltrating into these groups, you have to know the culture, you have to know the language; otherwise they will not trust you, they will not accept you into these organization and therefore then you cannot gather evidence. So it would be very difficult if the Bureau sent in a Caucasian agent to try to infiltrate into some of these organized crime groups. It would almost be impossible for them to infiltrate into these groups.
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