Mindef made formal representation to Hong Kong for return of vehicles

Mindef made formal representation to Hong Kong for return of vehicles
Nine Terrex infantry carrier vehicles belonging to the Singapore Armed Forces were seized by the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department on Nov 23 while en route to Singapore.
PHOTO: Reuters

The Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said yesterday that a formal representation was made to Hong Kong three weeks ago regarding the seizure of nine Singapore infantry carrier vehicles.

Mindef is still waiting for the matter to be fully resolved.

"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 SAF Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles and associated equipment by the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department," Mindef said in a statement.

"We await a full resolution of this matter and return of our property by the Hong Kong SAR government."

Read also: 'No formal reasons' for seizure of SAF vehicles after 3rd meeting

The nine Terrex vehicles and equipment, which were used in a Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) military exercise in Taiwan, were detained in Hong Kong a month ago.

They were on the way back to Singapore on board a container ship that was in transit in Hong Kong. The vessel belongs to shipping company APL.

The South China Morning Post reported earlier this month that Hong Kong Customs impounded the shipment because APL failed to provide appropriate permits for the vehicles.

APL has since met Hong Kong Customs on three occasions between Nov 29 and Dec 6, but has yet to receive formal reasons for the seizure.

Following the last meeting, the SAF said that it had advised APL officials to continue to cooperate fully with Hong Kong Customs, to hasten the return of the Terrex vehicles.

China's Foreign Ministry said on Nov 28 that it had made representations to Singapore over the vehicles' seizure, voicing unhappiness over the incident.

This article was first published on Dec 24, 2016.
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