States Times Review (STR) LIED. Reports that “Singapore is still not willing to retrieve their 9 detained SAF vehicles – worth a total of S$119.43 million – without having a “formal reason” from China.”
The FACT: It is the China Hong Kong side which is detaining our Terrex tanks without any formal reason and SAF has asked their shipping vendor APL to work with the Hong Kong side to get the tanks back
“2 weeks on, no formal reasons given for detention of SAF vehicles in HK: MINDEF”
There have been still no formal reasons provided for the seizure of Singapore’s Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICVs) in Hong Kong after a third meeting between relevant parties on Tuesday (Dec 6), said the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF).
APL, the commercial shipping firm contracted by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), met officials from the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department from 10am to 4pm on Tuesday, added MINDEF in a statement.
“The SAF has advised APL officials to continue to extend their full cooperation to the Hong Kong Customs in order to expedite the return of the SAF’s Terrex ICVs.”
When contacted by Channel NewsAsia, the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department repeated a line used since it first confiscated the nine Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles belonging to the SAF on Nov 23: “The case is under investigation and no further information is available.”
A spokesperson from APL, the commercial shipping firm contracted by the SAF, said they were “unable to provide details of the ongoing discussion”.
“APL continues to extend its full cooperation to the relevant Hong Kong authorities and work with the various stakeholders,” it reiterated.
The vehicles were travelling from Taiwan back to Singapore after a military training exercise when Hong Kong customs impounded the shipment over licensing issues. On Nov 26, they were moved to a secured, access-controlled depot.
The following week, Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said “the reasons and legal basis for detention” would be made clear from the first meeting on Nov 29.
But after two days, Singapore’s Defence Ministry revealed that Hong Kong customs officials had yet to provide formal reasons for seizing the vehicles, and that another meeting had been scheduled for Dec 1.