IIs' high-power rifles seized
POLICE are hunting for two men suspected of plotting a series of robberies after officers seized a cache of powerful weapons in Mongkok yesterday.
Two semi-automatic rifles with a range of 1.6 kilometres were seized from two illegal immigrants who police said had been hired to commit crimes in the territory.
The Chinese-made models are the most powerful rifles seized by police.
Two detonators and 200 rounds of .22 calibre ammunition were also found.
Twenty-five officers from Shamshuipo crime squad, wearing bullet-proof vests, surrounded a guesthouse in Prince Edward Road West at about 2 am.
They broke into a room two hours later and overpowered the two illegal immigrants.
The men, aged 21 and 39, had arrived from Wu Zhou, Guangxi, by speedboat on Saturday.
The two unloaded .22 semi-automatic rifles, the detonators and the bullets were hidden in a false ceiling.
Chief Inspector Cheung Yim-fui said police had received information two weeks ago.
He said that the mainlanders had been ordered to stay at the guesthouse to wait for instructions to rob goldsmith outlets or workshops.
Chief Inspector Cheung said: 'It's the first time that police have seized such semi-automatic rifles from a robbery gang.' He believed the rifles and ammunition were smuggled separately into the territory from the mainland.
Police said the illegal immigrants might have landed on Lantau and then taken a ferry to Kowloon.
Police seized 18 guns and four grenades in the first eight months of this year.