Hong Kong police seized a pistol and more than 90 rounds of ammunition while arresting one member of a radical anti-government group during a raid on a public housing flat in Sha Tin on Friday morning, according to police.
The arrest followed the seizure of 362 rounds of ammunition for an AR-15 assault rifle, 150 9mm bullets for handguns, and 99 detonation cords as well as an assortment of gun parts contained in 10 parcels airmailed from the United States to a local logistics company between January 8 and 10.
Force insiders said initial investigation showed that the P80 handgun and 92 bullets seized from the suspect’s home on Friday had also been hidden in parcels airmailed from the United States.
The morning arrest was one of a series of raids that took place across the city, the result of a one-month investigation into the group, which were mounted by officers from the organised crime and triad bureau, according to a source.
“Intelligence indicates the gang is also in possession of an AR-15 assault rifle,” the source said. “We are now raiding a number of targeted locations and searching for other members of the group.”
Officers first swooped into action at about 8.30am on Friday, when a 27-year-old man left his public housing flat in Kwong Yuen Estate in Sha Tin.
Police discovered the handgun and ammunition in his bedroom. Forty seven of the 92 bullets found were already loaded inside seven ammunition magazines.
“We believe parts of the handgun were airmailed into the city to avoid detection, and then assembled here,” another source said.
He said police were investigating when and where the weapon was intended to be used and whether police officers were the targets.
Senior superintendent Steve Li Kwai-wah of the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau said: “We have evidence to show the role of the suspect was to collect the parcels, assemble the guns and send them to radical members of his group.”
He said intelligence indicated that suspect’s radical group had been plotting to use explosives and firearms against police officers in anti-government protests in December.
According to police, the investigation was continuing and further arrests were possible.
The seizure of firearms marks the fourth such action in the past six weeks in the city.
On December 22, police arrested an 18-year-old man and seized a P80 pistol and an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle – the same model that was used in the 2017 Las Vegas shooting – along with 211 rounds of ammunitions in Tai Po.
Earlier the same month, police seized two pistols and 138 rounds of ammunition in two separate cases.
The suspect is a repairman who lives in the flat with his parents.
Police arrested the man for possession of firearms without a licence – an offence carrying a maximum penalty of 14 years in jail. He was being held for questioning at the police headquarters in Wan Chai.
Hong Kong has been gripped by nearly seven months of anti-government demonstrations – sparked by the now-withdrawn extradition bill – that have often descended into chaos and violent clashes between protesters and police.
This article Handgun and ammo seized, man arrested as Hong Kong police raid radical anti-government group first appeared on South China Morning Post