The metal pipes, which were mistaken for explosives and sparked a security alert at the Hong Kong border with Shenzhen on Thursday. Photo: SCMP Pictures

Chinese parallel traders spark Hong Kong border terrorist alert after metal tubes mistaken for explosives


Two Chinese women sparked a security scare when they were mistaken for terrorists while travelling from Hong Kong over the border into Shenzhen after customs officials suspected more than 100 metal tubes they were carrying were explosives, mainland media reports.

The two women were quickly pinned to the floor by security staff at 11.30am on Thursday as more than 100 armed police and anti-terrorist forces raced to the Futian border control point and began searching passengers’ baggage in case the suspects had accomplices, the Sing Tao Daily reported on Friday.

However, bomb experts soon found that the suspected detonators were merely metal tubes for industrial use.

The two women told police they were part-time parallel traders who had been paid HK$250 to transport the tubes from Hong Kong to Shenzhen. Both were released without charges.

According to report, the atmosphere at the border control point had been tense as officials from the Guangdong Provincial Public Security department and Shenzhen police took charge of the search of baggage.

Many parallel traders trying to carry large quantities of items into Shenzhen were caught during the searches, while other traders that had not reached the queues at the border headed back to Hong Kong after hearing about the heightened security checks.