In the latest update to the incident where nine Terrex Infantary Carrier Vehicles (ICVs) of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) were detained by the Hong Kong customs, SAF said that officials from its contracted commerical shipping line, APL have assured that they are working with the Hong Kong authorities to resolve the issue.
The Singapore Consulate General in Hong Kong is also assisting in this matter. An SAF team is en route to Hong Kong to address the security of the equipment.
Hong Kong based investigative journalism site, FactWire, had earlier reported that nine armoured vehicles were seized by Hong Kong authorities after it carried out an inspection sparked by a tip-off.
The vehicles, which had been shipped from Kao Hsiung in Taiwan, on route to Singapore, were placed on low beds and initially wrapped in various blue, grey covers.
During the transit through Hong Kong, customs officials raised queries if the necessary permits and declarations by APL were in order and in the process detained the Terrex ICVs.
SAF had contracted APL as the commercial shipping line to transport nine Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICV) and associated equipment to Singapore. The nine Terrex ICVs are training platforms with no ammunition or sensitive equipment on board. APL was required to comply with all regulations including the declaration of transported equipment in the ship’s cargo manifest as well as obtaining the necessary permits required to transit through ports.
SAF notes that all of its contracted commercial shipping lines are required to comply with stringent requirements for protection against theft and tampering of equipment during the shipment, in addition to applying for all relevant permits. These requirements have worked well and there have been no incidents of losses, theft or tampering over the years.
The SAF will review the circumstances of this incident and determine if added measures are required to prevent such occurrences.