Police hunt for fish bombers

MARINE Police are giving a higher priority to catching people using fish bombs than to arresting smugglers.

The switch follows a record seizure of industrial mining explosives in Shataukok Hoi, near the Chinese border. Police have seized 349 detonators and 66 kilograms of explosives this year.

Acting Chief Inspector Kong Yiu-man, the Marine North assistant divisional commander, said: 'We've shifted our work priority, giving fish bombs a higher priority.

'Our first priority is [general] crime, then illegal immigrants, followed by fish bombs.' Smuggling used to be third on the list.

Yesterday, 20 police officers and eight police dogs, including two sniffer dogs trained to find explosives, searched Kat O island and seized 100 detonators and 17 sticks of explosives hidden between rocks and under bushes.

A team of bomb disposal officers flew by helicopter to Kat O and detonated the explosives.


Bomb specialist Dominic Brittan said the type of explosive found was cheap, dangerous and powerful.

'Two feet away, it can rip you apart,' he said.

An army diver suffered a temporary hearing loss last week after a fish bomb exploded close to him.

Another man lost four fingers and 90 per cent of his sight in one eye in July after picking up a bomb at his fish farm.


Police believe the source of the explosives is China.

Seven marine launches have been deployed to catch fish bombers.


The maximum penalty of possession of explosives is a fine of $25,000 and imprisonment for six months.