Dodging bullets on a Lantau trail

A surprise encounter with a cache of bullets sent police rushing up Nga Ying Shan this week.

Local resident Venus Khongphet and friend Mark Tee came across the hoard of around 800 bullets while hiking down a remote path on Tsim Fung Shan near Tai O on Tuesday.

Venus posted photos of the find to a local Facebook page. Forum members quickly told her they were likely blanks or expended cartridges used in British military training exercises 30 or so years ago. One Facebook friend called the police.

So Venus and Mark had another unexpected encounter when they exited the hike at Shek Pik – seven or eight members of South Lantau’s finest.

“We knew the bullets would be tricky to find, even when we pointed out their approximate location to the police on a map,”  Venus later posted on her own Facebook page.  So she headed home for a cold beer and left it to her friend to guide the police to the spot. As she explains:

Mark returned to Tai O and he, a uniformed police sergeant, and two ordnance experts climbed up to Nga Ying Shan, and managed to find the pile of bullets again. After the experts assessed they were safe to move the pile was collected into four or five heavy bags, carried safely down off the mountain, and taken away for further processing.

They eventually thanked Mark for his cooperation and sent him home buzzed with the excitement of having ascended an extra peak in the failing light on an empty stomach, and blessed with the opportunity to contribute to law and order on Lantau.

I was very impressed with the Lantau Police and their quick response. I was very scared to see these bullets, and I think the two guys who do this kind of cleanup are very brave. Even my friend Mark put in a big effort to help find the bullets again. It’s great to be part of the caring Lantau community.

She reminds that bullets are dangerous. “If you see them on the trail please look but don’t touch them. Report them to the police immediately.”

RTHK reported that police found the bullet stockpile “not suspicious.”

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