Police are looking for five men in two vehicles after a gold bar robbery in Fanling, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
The suspects stole 60 gold bars worth more than HK$20 million (US$2.58 million) that were being transported by a conventional van.
The loot might not have been covered by insurance as it was not transported in a security vehicle, according to an industry source.
Police are looking into the possibility that the theft was an inside job, saying it took just 15 seconds to pull off.
The robbery took place at about 9 a.m. on Tuesday when the van driver, surnamed Wong, parked the vehicle in front of an industrial building in On Chuen Street.
The vehicle was carrying 258 gold bars with 999.9 purity worth about HK$70 million.
The robbers struck as the driver was about to bring them in a trolley to a gold casting factory inside the building.
The suspects, in a yellow Toyota Camry, stopped and three hooded men got off and attacked him with knives, according to investigators.
Footage from a security camera shows two of the suspects grabbing some of the gold bars, stuffing them into bags and carting them away while another held a knife to Wong.
They ran to kui Sik Street, about 100 meters away, boarded a Toyota Previa and drove off.
Wong, 33, was sent to hospital with injury to his eyes from a pepper spray. He joined the company a few months ago.
Superintendent Li Kwai-wah said three of the suspects, all of whom are Chinese, are about 1.75 meters tall and wore dark clothes and jeans.
Investigations showed the gold bars belong to a mainlander who had shipped them to a jewelry company in Sha Tau Kok for casting.
Haywood Cheung, permanent honorary president of the Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange Society, told Ming Pao Daily that most gold imported into Hong Kong have to be cast before they can be turned into jewelry for sale.
He said companies transporting gold normally buy insurance for protection.
Insurers would also set insurance requirements for such businesses, he said.
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