Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) has announced on Friday (23 December) that it had made a formal representation to Hong Kong three weeks ago over the issue of the detention of the SAF Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICV) which was detained in Hong Kong on 23 November.
The Ministry said that over the past three weeks, the Singapore Government has communicated its formal position to the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) on the detention of the vehicles and associated equipment by the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department
“We await a full resolution of this matter and return of our property by the Hong Kong SAR Government,” it wrote in a press statement.
The vehicles and equipment were on the way back to Singapore on a ship run by shipping line APL, and were in transit in Hong Kong, when they were being detained.
The customs had investigated the ship that the vehicles were on, via a tip off. When investigated, there is no data of where the ICVs were exported from, who the ICVs belonged to and other documentation info. It was later that MINDEF acknowledged that the ICVs belonged to the Singapore Armed Forces.
Under the strategic trade control system of Hong Kong, the Trade and Industry Department implements licensing control on both import and export of strategic commodities into and out of the Hong Kong territory. In addition, it imposes licensing control for transhipment and certain sensitive articles in transit.
APL had three meetings with Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department to resolve the issue. However, MINDEF said earlier that, unfortunately, it has not been provided formal reasons as yet for the detention of the Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICV).