Hong Kong police seized a pistol and nearly 100 rounds of ammunition and arrested one member of a radical anti-government group during a raid on a public housing flat on Friday, according to police sources.
Force insiders said initial investigation showed that the P80 handgun and 9mm bullets had been hidden in parcels airmailed from the United States.
At 3pm, a series of raids across the city, the result of a one-month investigation into the group, were being 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."
At about 10am on Friday, officers swooped into action when a man in his 20s left his public housing flat in Kwong Yuen Estate in Sha Tin.
Police discovered the handgun and bullets in his bedroom.
"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.
The seizure of the handgun marks the third such action in the past six weeks.
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 found a P80 pistol, 150 rounds of ammunition and three daggers in a raid on a North Point flat.
The suspect is a repairman who lives in the flat with his parents. It is understood that he had not been arrested during the social unrest.
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Hong Kong has been gripped by nearly seven months of anti-government demonstrations " sparked by the now-withdrawn extradition bill " that have often descended into chaos and violent clashes between protesters and police.
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