Hong Kong police seize home-made gun from two asylum seekers during stop-and-search

Pair aged 34 and 39 tried to run from officers after they were stopped outside Lai Kok Estate in Cheung Sha Wan on Thursday night

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 July, 2018, 5:30pm
UPDATED : Friday, 27 July, 2018, 11:15pm

Hong Kong police arrested two asylum seekers from Bangladesh and seized a loaded home-made pistol after a brief struggle outside a public housing estate on Thursday night – the third such firearm seizure in the city this year.

An initial investigation indicated the two men were thought to be delivering the gun at the time and were caught outside Lai Kok Estate in Sham Shui Po at about 9pm on Thursday, according to police.

Police said the two men aged 34 and 39 put up a struggle and ran off during the stop-and-search and one of them threw a black bag on the floor during the pursuit.

After a brief chase, the men were stopped, subdued and arrested, according to superintendent Wong Chi-wai of the Kowloon West regional crime unit.

He said a 15cm-long black handgun was found in the bag and the weapon was wrapped in plastic cling film.

“Two 7.62mm-calibre bullets were found in the magazine when found,” he said.

Officers are investigating the source of the weapon and what it was intended to be used for.

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“It seems not to be a new gun because some rust was found on its body. We believe it is a home-made pistol,” a police source said. “An initial examination by ballistics experts indicated that it was in good condition and serviceable.”

He said officers were also checking if the weapon had been used in any crimes in the city.

Officers later raided the two suspects’ subdivided flats in Yau Ma Tei, but no other firearms or ammunition were found.

According to police, one of the two men has been in Hong Kong since 2009 and the other has stayed in the city for about four years.

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As of 3pm on Friday, the two suspects were still being held for questioning and had not been charged.

In Hong Kong, possessing a firearm without a licence can result in a prison term of up to 14 years and a fine of HK$100,000.

On Saturday, police arrested a 56-year-old man and seized a loaded home-made shotgun also in Sham Shui Po. In a follow-up operation, police arrested another two men and two women.

“Up to now, there was no evidence to suggest the two cases were linked,” Wong said.

Last month, a female bodyguard was charged with murder after she allegedly shot dead her elderly aunt and uncle and wounded two other relatives in Quarry Bay Park with a handgun.

So far this year, police seized three genuine firearms in the city and no such seizures were made last year.

Stressing that police took firearm-related cases seriously, Wong said there are strict controls governing firearms in the city and police would continue to maintain regular patrols by uniformed and plain-clothes officers to ensure the safety of the public.