The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) said in a press statement earlier today that the Hong Kong customs department did not provide their shipping company a formal reason for the detention of the armoured vehicles.
“The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) was informed by APL that they met the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department from 2pm to 9pm on 29 November. APL is the carrier contracted to transport the Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICV) and associated equipment.
Formal reasons for the detention of the Terrex ICVs were not yet provided but customs officials hoped to complete their investigation soon. We have advised APL to give its full cooperation to the Hong Kong authorities in order to expedite the recovery of the SAF’s assets. Another meeting has been scheduled between APL and the Hong Kong Customs today.
The SAF team in Hong Kong has also reported a new observation where the Hong Kong Customs have added security guards stationed 24-hours at the site housing the Terrex ICVs.”
A Hong Kong based publication, South China Morning Post (SCMP), however reported that the military vehicles have been seized for not having appropriate permits and for not ‘specifically’ declaring the content of the containers in the cargo manifest. SCMP said: “Importing unmanifested cargo is a violation of Hong Kong’s Import and Export Ordinance and carries a maximum penalty of a seven-year jail term and HK$2 million fine, according to a source with the knowledge of the matter.”