SINGAPORE: A shipment of nine armoured military vehicles used by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) was being held at Hong Kong's Kwai Chung Container Terminal, Singapore's Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) confirmed on Thursday (Nov 24).
In a statement, MINDEF said it was a shipment of Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICVs) and associated equipment with no ammunition, used by the SAF for overseas training. It was delayed "due to a request for routine inspections by the Hong Kong Customs authorities".
A statement from Hong Kong's Customs and Excise Department said 12 Singapore-bound containers containing "suspected controlled items" were found in a routine search of a ship from Taiwan, AFP reported. It also said licences and proof of transshipment were needed for certain munitions and weapons, even if they were only in transit.
Apple Daily reported that the containers had been shipped from Kaohsiung in Taiwan.
An unnamed government source with knowledge of the matter told the South China Morning Post: "Hong Kong was not its final destination. It is not known why the consignment was unloaded here."
MINDEF said Singapore authorities are providing relevant assistance to the Hong Kong Customs and expect the shipment to return to Singapore "expeditiously".
It added that the Terrex ICVs were used by the SAF in routine overseas training and shipped back via commercial means as with previous exercises.