9 armoured vehicles, bound for S'pore, seized in HK

9 armoured vehicles, bound for S'pore, seized in HK

It was not immediately known whether the armored vehicles in the Hong Kong media report were part of routine joint training exercises.

There was no plan to offload or export the shipment when arriving in the Hong Kong terminals.

Responding to media queries yesterday, Singapore's Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said the Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICVs) and associated equipment used by the SAF overseas were "delayed at Hong Kong's Kwai Chung Container Terminal, due to a request for routine inspections by the Hong Kong Customs authorities".

Gordon Arthur, Asia-Pacific editor for United Kingdom defence publisher Shephard Media, told HKFP that the vehicles are Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles designed and used in Singapore, according to the colours and markings of the photos reported.

The Hong Kong publication said the armoured vehicles belonged to Singapore, citing experts and a crowd-funded journalism and intelligence community. Nine armoured vehicles were found in twelve of the seized containers.

In a statement, Singapore's defense ministry said it has been providing assistance to Hong Kong customs and expects the shipment to be returned to the country expeditiously, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Under Hong Kong regulations, controlled items can include firearms and ammunition, medicine or radioactive substances.

Wang Pai-feng, director of port operations at Port of Kaohsiung Taiwan International Ports Corporation, denied the Hong Kong media claim that the shipment originated from Taiwan, adding that further investigation was needed.

Sources cited by Chinese-language daily Liberty Times said the most recent sighting of Singaporean military equipment being offloaded in Kaohsiung took place on November 11.

Anyone who flouts the law can be fined HK$500,000 (S$92,300) and jailed for two years. "Either they are rotating vehicles back to Singapore, or another implication is maybe they are pulling down their presence there [in Taiwan]".

The Singapore-made eight-wheelers also give soldiers updates of enemy and friendly troop positions in timings close to real time.