Snakehead (Chinese: 蛇頭, shetou) are a Chinese smuggling and human trafficking organization commonly found throughout Asia. The organization differs from the Triads in that they receive most, if not all, of their income through smuggling and illegal immigration, as well as protection money extorted from illegal immigrants and profits from trading in white slavery. The name is commonly used in the Japanese Imperial State, where the Snakeheads typically ply their trade.
Snakeheads within the JIS occasionally use Starved Wolf (餓狼, garou) gangs, often made up of refugees and illegal immigrants that the Snakehead have smuggled into the country, as muscle and an additional source of revenue. They frequently scuffle with Yakuza groups in the JIS, who wish to control the organization.
In 2071 the Wanibuchi-rengo of the yakuza sold the new drug Tempo to Snakehead as well as to the Korean Jo-Pok gangs, the local dependence of the Red Dragon Association triad and a small Vory Outfit. The Yaks - and their advisor Jurojin - calculated correctly, that the smaller foreign syndicats would decimate themselves in a turf war, that would be enough annoiance to the Japonese citizens and the Neo-Tokyo Police Departement to demand the destruction of these competitors of the yakuza.
This was reprinted and reedited from the JIS Project website with the permission of Fatcat, the website owner.
Snakehead is also mentioned in the sourcebook "Corporate Enclaves" in the Neo-Tokyo part and in the campaign "Ghost Cartels".