A man has been arrested after police uncovered a large cache of firearms and ammunition from a flat in Wong Tai Sin.
The case came to light on Friday when staff at Chek Lap Kok airport's air mail centre found a damaged parcel from the United States that they suspected contained ammunition.
Police and officers from the airport intelligence unit examined the package and found 130 rounds of ammunition.
Officers traced the parcel's delivery address and on Saturday afternoon arrested a 38-year-old local man, surnamed Wong, at a restaurant on Nathan Road in Mong Kok where he works.
When he was taken to his home on Shatin Pass Road, two handguns, three rifles, 27 air guns, four gun barrels, one silencer, more than 9,000 rounds of ammunition, and 30 bullet shells were found. He was arrested for possession of arms or ammunition without a licence and for dealing in arms or ammunition without a licence.
It is believed the man, who is still in police custody, is a senior manager at a Yoshinoya fast-food outlet and a gun collector who is not considered a danger to the public, a police source said.
Superintendent Mike Chow Kwong-chung, of the New Territories South regional crime unit, said the investigation would focus on how the guns got into the city. "We believe he might have sent the components [of firearms] by post, in a piecemeal fashion, to Hong Kong," Chow said.
Only individuals who have obtained licences from police are allowed to own firearms in Hong Kong. Licences are required for most types of firearms and ammunition, and they must be stored in an approved armoury under the Firearms and Ammunition Ordinance.
The last major cache of arms uncovered in Hong Kong was found in April 2011 after a 63-year-old retired correctional services officer accidentally shot himself in the thigh while cleaning a rifle in his Sham Shui Po flat.
Former prison guard Leung Kwok-chi was jailed for 18 months after about 20 firearms and more than 80 imitation firearms, as well as tear gas grenades, a mortar, mortar shells and thousands of rounds of ammunition, were found at his home.