Six female students from Hong Kong may face a heavy penalty for smuggling air guns across the border, Apple Daily reports.
Shenzhen police arrested the suspects, aged 18 to 21, last May for allegedly attempting to sell 11 air guns to mainland buyers in the border city.
After eight months of detention, the Shenzhen Municipal Intermediate People’s Court started hearing the case last December, but sentencing has yet to be scheduled.
Lawyers said smuggling air guns into the mainland is a grave offense punishable by up to more than three years’ imprisonment or even heavier penalty.
One of the girls, surnamed Kong, said she met an air gun trader on Facebook last May. The man, who identified himself as “Yeung Tsz”, convinced her to smuggle air guns into mainland, promising to pay her HK$500 for each gun.
Kong convinced five other girls to engage in the illegal trade.
The students’ parents and school teachers are very worried, and appealed to the mastermind to come forward to own the offense.
The man has contacted the parents and promised to compensate them for all the trouble, but the parents insisted that he should explain the matter to mainland authorities. He refused.
Barrister Albert Luk Wai-hung said the mastermind could be charged with luring the students into the illegal trade via the internet.
If convicted, he could be jailed for five years, but the students need to testify against him after they are released.
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