Returned Terrexes to be deployed for training soon

Personnel from the Singapore Armed Forces beginning their inspection of the nine Terrex vehicles that were returned on 30 January 2017, more than two months after they were seized by Hong Kong Customs. The Ministry of Defence said it had started thorough post-training administration for the infantry carrier vehicles and other equipment.
PHOTO: MINDEF

The nine armoured vehicles which Hong Kong recently returned to Singapore will be deployed for training soon.

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has completed serviceability checks and maintenance of the Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles and other equipment which were shipped back on Jan 30, the Singapore Army said on Monday.

Giving an update on its Facebook page, it added that the infantry troop carriers will be deployed for training "shortly", though it did not specify when.

On Nov 23 last year, Hong Kong Customs seized the nine Terrex vehicles which were on an APL container ship that was in transit in Hong Kong, en route from Taiwan to Singapore. The Singapore-made vehicles had been used in a military exercise in Taiwan, and were being shipped home.

Media reports had said earlier that commercial shipper APL did not have the appropriate permits for the vehicles.

SAF armoured vehicles seized in Hong Kong port

  • A shipment of nine armoured vehicles belonging to the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has been seized in Hong Kong.
  • The Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICVs) were discovered at Kwai Chung terminal during a routine inspection, news agency FactWire reported.
  • In response to media queries, the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) confirmed in a statement that the Terrex vehicles and associated equipment were delayed at Hong Kong's Kwai Chung Container Terminal on Wed (Nov 23), due to a request for routine inspections by the Hong Kong Customs authorities.
  • "Singapore authorities are providing relevant assistance to the Hong Kong Customs and expect the shipment to return to Singapore. expeditiously," Mindef said.
  • "The Terrex ICVs were used by the SAF in routine overseas training and shipped back via commercial means as with previous exercises."
  • A Hong Kong government official who declined to be named told SCMP earlier that the consignment was en route to Singapore after an overseas training exercise. It is unknown why the vehicles were unloaded at Hong Kong.
  • The same source added that the vehicles could have been unloaded by mistake along with other general cargo.
  • The SAF is the sole operator of the 24-tonne Terrex vehicles, which is developed by local defence manufacturer Singapore Technologies (ST) Kinetics.

On Jan 24, Singapore's Foreign Affairs Ministry said that Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun Ying had replied to an earlier letter from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, to inform him that the Hong Kong authorities had completed their investigations and would release the held vehicles and equipment.

The Terrex vehicles left the Hong Kong port on Jan 27 on an APL ship, arriving in Singapore three days later. Hong Kong Customs said that APL could face criminal charges for a suspected breach of the law.


This article was first published on Feb 9, 2017.
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