THE Anti-Smuggling Task Force is currently testing new weapons which may be used in the war against Chinese smugglers.
Should the tests, being conducted at firing ranges yesterday and today, prove effective it is likely that the police high command will give the all-clear for them to be used in operations.
The higher-powered weapons will either replace or complement the current MP-5 machine guns currently being used by the police section of the task force.
For the time being, the Royal Navy will continue to carry SA-80 machine guns.
Police officers of the task force demanded greater firepower following a 100-round shoot-out with smugglers earlier this month.
The new weapons will be part of an overall tactical review following the incident.
A task force source said: ''We are evaluating the new weapons which should give us more firepower against the smugglers.'' However, the source said it was unlikely that the force would be granted the purpose-built boats it has requested from the Government.
An official request was lodged by the task force for two $4 million boats, which it believed would offer greater protection and be able to out-manoeuvre the smugglers.
The police currently use five tai feis captured from smugglers.
and converted at a cost of about $500,000 each.