Personnel carriers may go on public display

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 May, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 May, 2002, 12:00am

Five armoured personnel carriers confiscated by the Customs and Excise Department could end up on display at government holiday camps and sports centres, legislators were told yesterday.

In a written answer to lawmakers, Acting Secretary for Commerce and Industry Raymond Young Lap-moon said the Government was discussing the plan with the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

Earlier, the administration planned to spend $600,000 to dismantle the five Soviet-made carriers, found in March 2000 at a Kwai Chung container terminal.

Officials later rejected a proposal from an Irish company to ship the carriers free of charge to Ireland, saying it would breach international laws on weapons proliferation.

The vehicles, which have been disarmed, were ordered by the state-run China Aviation Industry Supply and Marketing Corporation in Tianjin, but were seized by Customs officers because they had no import permits.

Mr Young said the Government considered using the carriers for an artificial reef but have since decided against the idea because they could affect the environment. It also considered using them for police training.

'[We are] now actively discussing with the Leisure and Cultural Services Department to explore the feasibility of displaying some of the armoured carriers at the department's holiday camps and sports centres for the public's viewing,' Mr Young said.