Two Chilean pickpockets were arrested for snatching 100,000 yuan (US$14,719) in three seconds from a 63-year-old man in a shopping mall in Mong Kok, Kowloon, at noon on Tuesday.

A 63-year-old man was carrying 400,000 yuan in his bag after he just left a currency exchange shop in the MOKO shopping mall when he was bumped on the escalator, Oriental Daily reported.

Closed circuit television footage showed a man and a woman working as a team with one distracting the victim and the other unzipped the bag and snatched a brick of cash. It took no more than three seconds.

Police arrested a 64-year-old man and a 60-year-old woman, who had Chilean passports, in a hostel at Kingland Apartments on 737 Nathan Road in Mong Kok at 6pm on Wednesday, Sing Pao reported.

Two suitcases were seized from the pair, but the money had not been found.

Police said the pair could also be involved in other similar pickpocketing cases.