Non-civil aircraft impounded by Customs (with photos)

4 Apr 2006

In response to press enquiries, a spokesman for the Customs and Excise Department said today (April 4):

A non-civil aircraft, suspected to be a controlled item, is impounded by Customs for investigation.

The aircraft consisted of incomplete parts and had no engine. It did not carry any weapon.

On April 2, Customs officers found from a container which had arrived from Ukraine a non-civil aircraft. The container was destined for US via Hong Kong.

Initial investigation showed that the aircraft had been duly declared in the manifest, but was not covered by an import licence.

So far, there is no indication that the shipment was connected with smuggling.

Investigation is continuing. The case will be handled in accordance with our laws.

The spokesman said that Hong Kong had in place a comprehensive and stringent licensing control system on the import, export and transshipment of strategic commodities. The scope of its items subject to licensing control was set out in the Schedules to the Import and Export (Strategic Commodities) Regulations of the Import and Export Ordinance, Cap. 60, Laws of Hong Kong.

He said that an effective control system could safeguard the use of advanced technology for legitimate commercial and research use, which is essential to economic, trade and financial development.

The maximum penalty for anyone on summary conviction under the Import and Export (Strategic Commodities) Regulations is a fine of $500,000 and 2 years' imprisonment.

Ends/Tuesday, April 4, 2006

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