SINGAPORE: Hong Kong Customs said it seized the nine Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles in November "because there was a suspected breach of the Hong Kong law."
In a statement responding to media queries on Tuesday (Jan 24), its Commissioner of Customs and Excise Roy Tang said investigations into the suspected breach have been completed and it "might lead to criminal prosecution".
"Import, export and transshipment/transit of strategic commodities in breach of licensing requirement are criminal offences punishable under the Hong Kong law," said the statement.
"As an active and responsible trading partner in the global economy, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is committed to complying with international standards of strategic trade control, and Hong Kong implements a robust control system to achieve it," it added.
Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs had announced earlier on Tuesday that Hong Kong would be returning the seized military vehicles which have been held for two months.
This was communicated to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong by Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung on Tuesday.