SINGAPORE: Hong Kong customs said on Thursday (Mar 23) that it started prosecution of shipping firm APL and the master of the vessel on Mar 22, over last November's attempt to transport nine army vehicles into Singapore without licence.
"After a thorough investigation, the Customs and Excise Department has sufficient evidence to prove a case in breach of the strategic trade control system," a spokesperson told Channel NewsAsia in an email.
"Prosecution of the offending parties (shipping agent and master of the vessel) has been instigated on Mar 22."
However when contacted by Channel NewsAsia on Thursday, APL said that it had not received "any official summons".
The Singapore Armed Forces Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles and associated equipment were seized by local authorities on Nov 23 as it was passing through Hong Kong from the Taiwanese port of Kaohsiung, and was detained at Kwai Chung Container Terminal. It was later moved to the Tuen Mun River Trade Terminal.
Hong Kong customs attributed the seizure to a suspected licensing breach that "might lead to criminal prosecution".
The nine armoured vehicles, as well as other equipment, only returned to Singapore two months later on Jan 30.