The retrial in Shenzhen of a Hong Kong man sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment for smuggling eight replica guns across the border began on Monday.

Chan Chi-yung was arrested in March 2015 after entering Shenzhen via the Lo Wu Border Control Point. Customs officials found that he was carrying two replica guns, a silencer, a scope and a bag of 200 replica bullets.

Lo Wu Border Control Point. Photo: 慕尼黑啤酒 via Wikimedia Commons.

Chinese online outlet The Paper cited the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court as saying that Chan had been smuggling and selling replica guns across the border to mainland clients since January 2015. In total, he was suspected of smuggling eight replica guns.

Hong Kong laws stipulate that replica guns must have a maximum muzzle energy no higher than 2 joules. In mainland China, the limit is 1.8 joules.

The Paper said the muzzle energy of Chan’s replica guns were between 2.77 to 11.42 joules.

7 years’ imprisonment

On December 2, 2015, the intermediate court sentenced Chan to seven years’ imprisonment on charges of arms smuggling. He appealed the judgement.

Then on September 1, 2016, the Guangdong High People’s Court annulled the judgement, and remitted the case back to the Intermediate Court for a retrial. The High Court said that the judgement’s “facts were not clear, and the evidence was not sufficient.”

Replica gun shop in Mong Kok. File photo: Imgwgurotnral via Wikimedia Commons.

Chan’s lawyer told The Paper that the regulations on replica guns were unreasonable, and that Chan had no “objective intention” to smuggle weapons.

The court has not yet issued a judgement.

Elson Tong

Elson Tong is a graduate of international relations and former investigations consultant. He has also written for Stand News.