Tear-gas travellers fear muggings

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 December, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 December, 1998, 12:00am

TAIWANESE women tourists are trying to bring tear-gas into Hong Kong because they are frightened of being mugged when they go to the mainland.

Airport security officials have confiscated 137 tear-gas canisters since Chek Lap Kok opened in July.

Chris Li Nai-chung, manager of the passenger screening division at the airport, said: 'Most of the tear-gas canisters come from Taiwanese women who maybe are worried about possible muggers when they leave Hong Kong and go on holiday to the mainland.' Mr Li urged passengers to determine which articles were forbidden before travelling. Police had been informed of the gas seizures.

Kai Chuen-kam, chairman of the Hongkong Taiwan Tourist Operators' Association, said Taiwan's Chiang Kai-shek airport had posted notices warning passengers against bringing potentially dangerous items like tear-gas canisters on planes.

Mr Li also revealed airport security had confiscated 40 air-guns, two bows and four crossbows since July.

Other forbidden items confiscated included 13 flick knives, 16 pairs of handcuffs, 15 rounds of live ammunition and 14 swords.