Bullets switched at police armoury

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 April, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 April, 1999, 12:00am

Twelve bullets have been replaced with lookalikes at the same Aberdeen police station where a detective's revolver was swapped for an air pistol three weeks ago.

About 20 police officers who have handled the bullets are being questioned while all armoury staff were transferred to other duties yesterday.

A police spokesman confirmed that on Monday armoury officers found 12 lookalike bullets had been substituted for some of the .38 ammunition used by the force.

Ballistic officers are examining whether the replaced bullets were fake while police chiefs conduct a review into security.

The case has been taken over by Hong Kong Island Regional Crime Unit which is also probing how a detective's .38 revolver was swapped for an air pistol this month. That gun has not been found.

Officers believed there was only a slim chance the thefts were committed by outsiders.

A source said police did not rule out the possibility the bullets were replaced at the same time the revolver was swapped, but the switch was not discovered until Monday.

All five original armoury officers were transferred yesterday, while another three officers who had been helping in the firearms room would not be assigned armoury shifts.

A source said: 'No one has been suspended. This is just an administrative arrangement.'