Hong Kong police have arrested four people for allegedly possessing arms or ammunition without a licence. The group was suspected of 3D-printing firearms parts.

Three men and one women were apprehended after the police received a call on Sunday about suspected ammunitions found in a stairwell of a public housing building in Chai Wan.

Hong Kong Police
Photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

The police found a black plastic bag with three boxes of nine millimetre bullets at the scene, and arrested a 31-year-old male surnamed Chu for allegedly possessing arms or ammunition without a licence on Sunday.

Multiple 3D-printed firearm parts, a 3D printer, a black box containing three gun magazines, two computers, and a USB flash drive with blueprints for firearm parts were found at the man’s flat, police said.

Two more men and one women aged between 25 and 36 were arrested on Monday following an investigation.

Following a search of the 25-year-old man’s flat, the police also found more suspected 3D-printed gun parts, as well as four sabres and three gas masks.

3d printing firearm
Suspected firearm parts seized by the police. Photo: Hong Kong Police, via screenshot.

Superintendent Ng Chung-wai from the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau, in a press briefing on Tuesday, said that 3D-printed arms parts might also be seen as arms under the law, and possessing those parts was also in violation of unlicensed possession of arms and ammunition. Offenders could face a 14-year jail term, Ng said.

Ng said that since the implementation of the national security law, a lot of pro-independence or “black riot” groups had gone “underground” or “overseas.”

“However, we cannot lower our guard,” said the superintendent. Ng also urged citizens to report to the police if they see anything suspicious.

In June 2020, Beijing inserted national security legislation directly into Hong Kong’s mini-constitution – bypassing the local legislature – following a year of pro-democracy protests and unrest.

It criminalised subversion, secession, collusion with foreign forces and terrorist acts, which were broadly defined to include disruption to transport and other infrastructure.

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Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.