Apple Daily, a Hong Kong based newspaper reported that the nine armoured vehicles seized by the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department in November last year is not seen in the warehouse in which it had been impounded.
The paper said that a reporter from the publication was able to see the Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles belonging to the Singapore Armed Forces covered with green canvas in the warehouse from 26 to 30 December, but that he did not see it this morning (2 Jan). Apple Daily said that the security guards on the ground refused to respond to their reporters’ queries.
The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) has not delivered a statement on this latest development yet. MINDEF said on 26 Nov that the containers with the armoured vehicles which were opened for inspection have been resealed by Hong Kong customs and shifted to the depot at the River Trade Terminal, which is a secured access-controlled area.
Singapore’s Defence Minister, Dr Ng Eng Hen, said on 30 Dec that the detention of Singapore’s Terrex armoured vehicles by Hong Kong authorities was a low point in 2016, but that it does not pose an existential threat or even a potential threat.
Dr Ng asked Singaporeans to not allow this one incident to shake our confidence or weaken our solidarity. He added: “We are a sovereign and independent country, and we will chart our own future.”