A powerful Glock handgun taken from a group of suspected robbers is the same model being eyed for use by police Police are investigating whether Hong Kong crime syndicates have found a new firearms supplier after a powerful semi-automatic pistol was seized from a gang of suspected highway robbers. The powerful Austrian-made Glock 17 confiscated on Monday is, interestingly, one of the guns being considered by the Hong Kong police as the weapon of choice for its own frontline officers. The gun was found to have reached a robbery gang which targets cross-border trucks loaded with computer parts and mobile phones, a senior police officer said yesterday. The seizure of the 9mm pistol was the first of its kind in Hong Kong. It was found along with two other mainland-made handguns and 28 rounds of ammunition after officers intercepted a car and a goods van in Sha Tau Kok on Monday. The gun seizure has prompted officers to investigate whether there is a new source of gun smuggling into Hong Kong as officers believe the Austrian pistol was unlikely to have been brought into the city from the mainland. 'Obviously, a Glock 17 pistol is not easily obtained on the mainland. Our investigation is still on-going. We are very concerned about the source of this pistol,' said Chief Superintendent Fung Kin-man, head of the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau. He said the 9mm pistol was more powerful than the home-made mainland handguns police seized previously. 'Preliminary investigation showed that the Glock 17 and the other seized pistols are in good condition and we believe they have not been used recently,' he said. On Monday morning, the loaded Austrian-made pistol and the other two handguns - a mainland 0.22-calibre semi-automatic pistol and a home-made revolver - were seized inside a bag in a car after the interception in Sha Tau Kok Road. Five men including a mainland visitor - believed to be members of a robbery gang - were arrested on board the car and van. Mr Fung believes that the five men were about to rob a cross-border truck loaded with goods at the time of the arrest. Ten more men, including the alleged mastermind of the gang, were arrested when about 100 officers raided 20 locations in follow-up operations on the same day. Police said the gang, which recruited mainland travellers to carry out robberies, was suspected of involvement in 25 armed robberies since 2001 in which trucks loaded with computer parts and mobile phones were intercepted and robbed in the New Territories after arriving from the mainland. Officers said the goods robbed in each case were worth between $1 million and $2 million, and that some of the truck drivers were hurt. Mr Fung believes the stolen goods might have been smuggled back to the mainland where there is a great demand for such products. Last night, the 15 men, aged between 22 and 51, were being held for questioning by police. The Glock 17 and the Glock 19, which are being used by officers from the Airport Special Duties Unit and the Small Boat Unit of the Marine Police, are among the types of guns being considered by police to replace their Colt .38 calibre revolvers. Spare parts for Colt .38 revolvers, which were introduced to the force in 1976, will only last for a further two years as the manufacturer stopped production in 1996. Yesterday, a police spokesman said the force had not finalised which type of handgun would replace the police revolvers. Mr Fung said so far this year, police have seized at least six handguns, including the Glock 17 and two mainland guns, and that the number of seized handguns remained stable. He said police would continue to maintain close contact with mainland authorities over the gun smuggling activities. Earlier this year, Police Commissioner Tsang Yam-pui said the fight against gun crime was one of his top priorities as the number of guns seized had soared from 14 in 2001 to 23 last year. His pledge came after the South China Morning Post reported how local crime syndicates were buying pistols from the mainland for as little as $2,000 each and smuggling them into Hong Kong.