Air pistol parcel eludes security checks

  • ASEAN+
  • Wednesday, 12 Jul 2006

A PARCEL containing two air pistols eluded security checks meant to prevent such items from being sent by post, and were about to be delivered before they were finally stopped – by the man who ordered them.  

Scanners checking shipments at the airport cleared the parcel, which arrived from Germany, and it was then sent to the SingPost parcels depot at Eunos Road – a violation of the rules, which forbid such items from being conveyed via normal postal channels.  

Even when the parcel arrived at the depot, officials were unaware of its contents, and contacted arms agent Sam Choy, the addressee, to arrange for delivery.  

Choy, 56, was told that the parcel would be delivered intact to his New Industrial Road office after he paid the S$170 (RM378) GST amount due on the items.  

This was a clear violation of laws governing the transport of such items.  

Normally, they have to be collected by the addressee, who then has to arrange for the items to be delivered to the approved end-user under armed guard.  

The addressee also has to furnish a permit for the items before he is allowed to take delivery.  

Shocked that SingPost was about to send weapons directly to him, Choy forbade delivery, informing it that the parcel held two German-made Walther air pistols.  

It was only then that security kicked in. The parcel was referred to police, who quizzed Choy last week and are now holding the items.  

Police are investigating the matter under the Postal Services Act, under which it is an offence for prohibited items to be sent by post, said spokesman Victor Keong.  

He added that Choy did the right thing in not authorising the parcel for delivery, as the weapons were controlled security items and procedures were in place for their authorised import and delivery.  

Choy said such items must be stored in a secured area or armoury at the point of entry.  

Once notified of their arrival, the importer must then go to the airport or point of entry and produce the import permits obtained from the Arms & Explosives Unit to collect them.  

Choy, the managing partner of a firm that imports items like weapons and handcuffs for approved users like the police and shooting clubs, added: “I would also have to arrange for Cisco escorts to send the arms directly from the airport to the Explosives Unit and then to the end-user” – in this case, a secondary school which ordered the pistols. – The Straits Times / Asia News Network  

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