Police are hunting for three robbers who tried to steal two cash boxes containing $2.35 million in Mongkok yesterday but fled empty-handed after chopping a guard in the leg with an axe.
The raiders - one carrying a revolver, one an axe - were forced to leave the cash at the scene after one of the booby-trapped boxes sprayed red dye, police said.
They have appealed for information about the robbers, who may have been stained with the dye.
The attack took place at 11.30am when two Guardforce security officers were returning to their armoured van at the junction of Mongkok Road and Fa Yuen Street. They had collected cash boxes from a nearby Bank of China. The robbers threatened them at gunpoint, demanding the money.
One guard put up a struggle as a robber tried to snatch his shotgun but was chopped in his right leg. The robber also struck the guard's helmeted head with the axe, a witness said.
They fled with cash boxes but abandoned them 50 metres away wehn one began spewing the red chemical.
The injured guard was taken to Mongkok's Kwong Wah Hospital, where he was stable last night.
Last month, two robbers fired shots as they fled after a failed attempt to snatch a cash box containing more than $1 million outside a Hong Kong Jockey Club betting centre in Ma On Shan.