Guangdong police seize huge haul of illegal guns
Mimi Lau in Guangzhou
Guangdong police busted the biggest illegal gun factory in a decade, confiscating more than 113,000 guns bound for the local mafia and well-off clients.
Xinhua reported yesterday that the second platoon of the Guangdong border maritime police raided a large illegal weapons operation during the National Day holidays in Shantou .
Police found the weapons when they stopped two cargo trucks. The raid was the largest by the Guangdong border police in 10 years.
Citing a spokesman for the border maritime police, Xinhua said the guns were loaded onto two trucks on the afternoon of October 5 at a market on Dongfeng Road, in Chenghai district.
He told Xinhua the guns were going to be passed on to another party at a Shantou ferry pier but were intercepted at the intersection of Taishan and Shanfen roads.
The seized guns were of a wide variety and were so well crafted that it was hard to distinguish them from real military guns in terms of size, weight, appearance and structure, the spokesman said.
A Guangdong police officer said that Shantou, Shanwei and surrounding areas were notorious for manufacturing illegal guns and printing counterfeit banknotes.
Referring to the town of Jiazi, under the jurisdiction of Lufeng, for example, he said the town had specialised in manufacturing guns and supplying them to local criminal gangs and rich people at a price of 5,000 yuan (HK$5,800) to 60,000 yuan each for at least a decade. 'In areas like these, even police officers can't get in, as the locals were known for their unity in barring outsiders in a bid to guard their town's pillar income source,' the officer said.
Local bars established by gangs and illegal casinos were all guarded by gunmen, and it was imperative for police officers to wear bulletproof vests during raids, he said.
Xinhua also reported that the guns confiscated on October 5 were often used by criminals, but the local authorities pledged they would step up their investigation to keep illegal guns from being smuggled to various parts of the mainland and ports ahead of the Asian Games.
Xinhua said the confiscated guns had been passed on to the Shantou City Public Security Bureau for further processing. The officer said the operation was tied to the Asian Games and was intended to demonstrate the capability of the local police to contain the supply of illegal guns.
In September 2006, Xinhua reported that mainland police had seized more than 100,000 guns, more than two million bullets and nearly a million knives in a crackdown on violent crime across the country in the first nine months of the year.
More than 4,000 people suspected of making, trading or selling firearms or explosives were arrested, and police closed down 360 underground weapons makers and dealers.
The town of Jiazi, according to police, specialises in making and supplying guns
The price of an illegal weapon ranges from 5,000 yuan to: 60,000 yuan