Eight alleged bank robbers accused of carrying out a series of armed raids in Macau were arrested in a joint operation between police from the enclave and Guangdong. The arrests were announced simultaneously by Macau's Judicial Police and the Guangdong Public Security Bureau in the Zhuhai Special Economic Zone yesterday. Five of the suspects were arrested in several locations in Maoming in western Guangdong on Monday. The three others, including a woman, were arrested by Macau police in the Tamagnini Barbosa district the same day. The three suspects caught in Macau were paraded before the media at Judicial Police headquarters on Rua Central. Police also displayed three handguns, a hunting rifle and six long knives seized at the three suspects' flat. Police spokesmen in Macau and Zhuhai said the gang, comprising three Macau ID card holders and five mainlanders, was suspected of at least three armed robberies in Macau in the past two years. The suspects allegedly held up three so-called 'underground banks' in Macau, getting away with a combined haul of $30 million. The underground banks operate in private flats without licences, specialising in illegal currency exchanges and remittances between the mainland and Taiwan. Police in Macau and Guangdong have strengthened cross-border anti-crime co-operation in the run-up to the handover at midnight on December 19. Chen Shaoji, director of Guangdong Provincial Public Security Bureau, said in Macau earlier this week that anyone causing trouble during the handover would be regarded as an enemy of the state and the people.