Elite armed police arrest knife-wielding man at Hong Kong International Airport after tense standoff

The man, who holds a Russian passport, was said to have fled the airport’s terminal 2 after grabbing thousands of dollars from an exchange shop at around 8.30pm on Thursday

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 November, 2016, 12:57am
UPDATED : Friday, 25 November, 2016, 9:19am

Police armed with sub-machine guns subdued a knife-wielding suspected robber at Hong Kong International Airport on Thursday night.

About a dozen heavily-armed elite officers rushed to the scene after the suspect, who holds a Russian passport, was said to have pulled a knife at a money changer at terminal two at the airport in Chek Lap Kok at around 8.20pm.

The man, 44, was said to have threatened a female staff member at the money changer and demanded she hand over cash.

When the staff member refused, he opened a cash drawer and grabbed HK$59,000 before running away. A security alarm was then triggered by staff.

The suspect ran for about 200 metres to a taxi stand outside Regal Airport Hotel, with police officers from the Airport Security Unit in pursuit.

There then followed a tense standoff between the man and about six officers, two with handguns and two holding sub-machine guns.

In viral videos circulating online, the man in a cap was seen lying face down on the ground, as he followed the order from the armed officers.

Dozens of taxi drivers and pedestrians gathered round to watch the drama unfold.

Officers were heard yelling “get down”, while a witness was heard yelling to the officers: “He’s a gweilo. Speak English.”

The suspect was finally handcuffed after being pinned down by several officers and taken to a police vehicle.

Investigators from the airport police district said they believed it was a planned robbery, as shown by the knife, gloves, and a surgical mask found in the man’s bag.

All the cash involved was recovered.

A female staff member at the currency shop was taken to North Lantau Hospital for minor leg injuries sustained when she tried to give chase.

A taxi driver who witnessed the incident told media he was waiting in a queue at terminal two when loud noise was heard and he saw the police running past, who told him to “get back to the cab and lock up.”

He ignored the advice, and decided to watch the incident, seeing the capped suspect holding a knife and the officers surrounding him. He did keep his distance though, in case shots were fired.