Hong Kong authorities press charges against shipping company APL over Singapore Terrex vehicles transport: Xinhua

One of nine Terrex armoured vehicles about to be loaded onto a truck at a cargo terminal in Hong Kong on Jan 26, 2017.
One of nine Terrex armoured vehicles about to be loaded onto a truck at a cargo terminal in Hong Kong on Jan 26, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG - Hong Kong authorities have filed charges against shipping company APL and the captain of a container ship which transported Singapore military vehicles into the city in November 2016 without a required licence, Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday (March 23), citing a Customs official.

The violation had resulted in Singapore-made Terrex infantry carriers being seized and held in Hong Kong for over two months.

The vehicles were being shipped home after they had been used in a military exercise in Taiwan when the APL vessel transited in Hong Kong, where they were seized by Customs officials on Nov 23.

The charge was filed by Hong Kong Customs on Wednesday and will be brought to court on Friday, an information officer of Hong Kong Customs told Xinhua on Thursday.

The source said Hong Kong Customs has sufficient evidence to prove that there's a violation of the strategic trade control system.

 

Previous Hong Kong media reports said an investigation completed by the Customs and Excise Department in January found that the Singapore Government could not be held responsible for the breach as it was only the consignee of the military vehicles.

The department was said to have sought legal advice from the Department of Justice about the move to prosecute the shipping firm and its captain.

An APL spokesman told The Straits Times late on Wednesday that the company had not received any official summons and could not comment further.