TEAR-GAS canisters and flick knives are the most common weapons in an increasing haul confiscated at Kai Tak airport, largely from Taiwanese passengers heading for China.
Airport police yesterday showed an armoury of prohibited items, including cross-bows, gravity-operated steel batons, distress flares, electronic stun devices, spear guns and knuckle dusters.
Officers say weapon seizures are increasing in proportion to the rising passenger traffic at the airport, which reached 29.5 million last year.
Detective Senior Inspector (Crime) Chan Yu-hung said: 'More than 90 per cent of the 2,100 items found were on transit passengers.
'We found Taiwanese were in possession of 60 per cent of the tear-gas, which is the most common item. I think [tear-gas] is lawful there, otherwise they would not bring so much.
'Mostly, they are carried for protection or as part of a collection.
'We conduct an initial check on those who possess such arms; if there are suspicious circumstances we will investigate.' But some weapons had been found on Hong Kong people bound for foreign countries.
'When they travel to other areas where they think law and order is not so good, they carry them for self protection. Particularly women [who carry] tear-gas named Body Guard,' Mr Chan said.
Unless police suspect criminal intent, most weapons are returned to passengers at their destination.