Whitehead raid nets massive weapons haul

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 August, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 August, 1996, 12:00am

Hundreds of homemade weapons were seized in a search of the Whitehead detention centre yesterday before an operation tomorrow to remove more than 600 boat people.

A total of 664 daggers, spears and missiles were recovered in a three-hour operation by the police and Correctional Services Department.

The weapons were fashioned from pipes, bamboo, glass and metal. Several containers of homemade rice wine were also found.

About 660 Vietnamese detainees will be ordered out of Section 6 at Whitehead tomorrow and transferred to Victoria Prison for processing before being deported to Vietnam.

The Correctional Services Department will lead the operation with several hundred police officers in riot gear on standby.

Later this month, about 500 southern Vietnamese in High Island (south) detention centre will be moved to Whitehead.

Remaining northerners at Whitehead will be transferred to High Island. The Government is splitting the two groups to avoid friction.

In September, the 5,500 southerners in the remote Tai A Chau detention centre will be transferred to Whitehead in a huge transfer operation. Tai A Chau will be closed.