Former arms dealer arrested after Hong Kong police find cache of 18 pistols, over 100 bullets, 11 knives and stun gun

Cheung said officers had arrested the suspected owner of the weapons in the same district, adding police would assess the firearms’ performance and capabilities.

According to the force, the 67-year-old suspect had a long-time association with the firearms industry and other related activities.

The superintendent said the man had run various companies in the past, including a firearms and ammunition trading firm, a film prop business and another offering military accessories.

The suspect was also in charge of a shooting club at one point, he added.

“Between 1980 and 2008, the man held multiple licences for firearms dealing, shooting range management, and personal possession of firearms,” Cheung said.

But the superintendent noted all the licences had been revoked in 2008.

Police have confirmed the firearms are genuine and have said they are not ruling out the possibility that some may have come from overseas. Photo: Jelly Tse

“We don’t rule out the possibility that someone might have illegally acquired this batch of firearms and ammunition from overseas. This is one of the directions of our investigation,” he said.

Police said one of the handguns had German written on it and the seized ammunition were different calibres.

A source familiar with the case said the suspect was Joseph Ho Mang-keung, a former firearms dealer whose armoury in Fo Tan was raided by police in 2007.

The operation at the time led to the seizure of about 350,000 rounds of ammunition, a slab of explosives, the barrel of an anti-tank rocket launcher and 60 other related items.

Local media have described the suspect as a shooting champion dubbed “the King of Guns”.

Hongkonger with police gear at home arrested in connection with online scam

The insider said the raid in 2007 took place after Ho was jailed in mainland China for smuggling firearms, leaving him unable to renew his licences for the armoury.

Ho was arrested in 2012 after he returned to the city and he was subsequently charged with possession of ammunition and explosives and jailed for five years, he said.

In his leniency plea, Ho submitted a number of letters from family and friends, including one from kung fu star Jackie Chan, who described Ho as a gun enthusiast and unlikely to be a criminal.

Police said one of the handguns and some of the ammunition had German written on them.

Cheung said there was currently no evidence to suggest the suspect was connected to any previous rioting, anti-government protests or violent incidents.

“We tend to believe that this arrested person is just a firearms fanatic,” he added.

Police are still investigating the source of the confiscated items. Photo: Jelly Tse

Acting Chief Inspector Yuen Ming-lok of the same bureau said police’s investigation showed the suspect began renting the storage facility in the Sha Tin premise in mid-2021.

According to the force, the facility was rented using a bogus identity card.

Yuen said police were still determining how long the firearms, ammunition and weapons had been stored there.

The suspect was detained on suspicion of possessing firearms and ammunition without a licence – an offence punishable by up to 14 years in jail and a HK$100,000 (US$12,766) fine.

Police also arrested the man on suspicion of possessing offensive weapons and false documents.

The man was still being held for questioning as of Friday morning.

The superintendent said an investigation into the origins of the seized weapons was still ongoing, adding that further arrests were possible.

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