- Anti-bill pamphlets also among items seized at Tsuen Wan industrial block
- Case comes amid raised tensions over a weekend of planned protests
Hong Kong police have seized what is thought to be the largest amount of explosives ever uncovered in the city, along with pro-independence materials in an industrial building in Tsuen Wan on the eve of a major march against the now-suspended extradition bill.
On Saturday, Steve Li Kwai-wah, senior superintendent of the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau, said police were investigating the background of a 27-year-old man arrested, and determining if the seizure was related to the protests planned over the weekend.
"TATP is well-known, unstable and dangerous. I think without a doubt this is the largest seizure we have ever come across in Hong Kong," Superintendent Alick McWhirter of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit said. He was referring to triacetone triperoxide, an explosive substance.
Four men with triad backgrounds arrested over petrol bomb attacks on police
Acting on intelligence received, officers had raided Lung Shing Factory Building on Texaco Road on Friday night and found 2kg of powerful explosives, 10 petrol bombs and acidic substances being manufactured in the block, along with knives and metal rods.
McWhirter said his squad handled about 1kg of TATP on Saturday morning, and were still working on another kilogram of the explosives.
Items seized at the site also included a T-shirt with the logo of the Hong Kong National Front, a pro-independence group, leaflets saying "no extradition to China", and a pamphlet on the June 9 protest march.
In the early hours of Saturday, firefighters were called in and people were evacuated from the factory building as police cordoned off the street while bomb experts carried out a controlled explosion to destroy the substances.
As of noon, the suspect was still being held for questioning and not charged.
According to a government spokesman, six fire engines and two ambulances were sent to the scene.
The spokesman said one team of firefighters equipped with breathing apparatuses and a water jet device were on standby.
The case came amid a weekend of planned protests against the now-suspended extradition bill, raising tensions as police had earlier ramped up security measures over fears of continued violence.
More to follow …
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