The [SECRET] Customs Interview


Photo  Credit: Henk Bekker. Details Below.


In the Hong Kong Special Autonomous Region of China, Customs and National Defense Headquarters of Most Honourable Memorial People’s Building, Third Chief Senior Enforcement and Contraband Officer John Sing Chew Yang, Jr. sits across the table from Mr. Ralph Nebulous, Associate Customer Service Representative (Air & Ocean) at Box&Go World-Wide DIY Shipping, Plc. Ltd., an NVOCC. Google it.

It is 3am.

Officer Yang;  So Mr. Ralph, you know that we are holding the cargo of military equipment here in the Hong Kong Special Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China, yes?

Mr. Nebulous;  Yes sir.

Officer Yang;  Good. I have a few questions about this shipment.

Mr. Nebulous;  Ok.

Officer Yang;  Why do you think that after using this military equipment to train the renegade army of the disloyal Taiwan province of China, it would be wise to have it transshipped at a port belonging to the People’s Republic of China?

Mr. Nebulous;  Sir, I am acting as agent only (shipping joke.-Ed.) The ship owner and the cargo owners did not tell me what the cargo was used for, only to transport it at the best price.

Officer Yang;  Well Mr. Ralph, you know, here in Hong Kong Special Autonomous Region of China, we have newspapers. And we read in your principal’s own newspaper that this equipment was used in Taiwan, provence of China, for military exercises.

Mr. Nebulous;  Oh.

Officer Yang;  And it seems that the owner of this equipment also arranged for his Army to participate alongside the renegade Taiwan province of China army!

Mr. Nebulous;  Oh. I did not know that. Is it ok if I WhatsApp the shippers?

Officer Yang;  If this will help you obtain the information, be my guest.

Mr. Nebulous;  Thanks.

Officer Yang;  Now, Mr. Ralph, were these armies training to prepare to invade the People’s Republic of China, or to defend the Taiwan Province of China from an invasion?

Mr. Nebulous;  (frantically working his WhatsApp) My principals say this was not a joint military exercise. They say that their troops were only learning how to drive Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles in the mountains, because there are no mountains in Singa-, I mean, where my customer lives.

Officer Yang;  So what you mean is, if the People’s Republic of China decided to invade the renegade province of Taiwan, the Singapore army would not assist with the defense of the island?

Mr. Nebulous (glued to his iPhone);  They say, the relationship is unchanged, working together to foster a prosperous region of growth and harmony, and something about ASEAN.

Officer Yang;  I understand, so China may invade Taiwan, the province, anytime, without interference?

Mr. Nebulous (looks up from his iPhone);  I guess.

Officer Yang;  So these military exercises, what battle is Singapore preparing for? Is it Malaysia?

Mr. Nebulous (back on his iPhone 7, Googling…);  No, uhm, NO! They both just reaffirmed their commitment to a stronger and mutually beneficial partnership, and they are building a high-speed train connection. (Nebulous considers the rail freight potential). 

Officer Yang;  Aaahhh… Hmmm… (Yang strokes his chin, thinking), Then this training is aimed at the Indonesian invasion of Singapore!

Mr. Nebulous;  Sir, with all due respect, Singapore owns the Indonesian island of Batam and 30% of Bintan (Good, everyone loves statistics.-Ed.). And besides, the leaders of Singapore and Indonesia just met to officially welcome the positive progress in bilateral relations. During the summit they “reflected in the extensive and wide-ranging cooperation between both countries.” After that, they reiterated their commitment to strengthening ties. 

Officer Yang (trying to refocus on the interrogation after being briefly distracted by images of bondage);  Ahem. Ok, Let’s get specific. I have had enough of these platitudes (Yang pauses again, wondering if he chose the right word). Are you telling me that these high-tech state-of-the-art infantry transport vehicles will not be used to defend Taiwan, the renegade pro-, oh hell, Taiwan, or invasions from Malaysia or Indonesia? Is that what you are trying to tell me?

Mr. Nebulous;  My principals tell me they have no enemies, except ISIS.

Officer Yang;  Mr. Ralph, everyone knows you cannot fight a terrorist cell with a troop transport vehicle! So, we can agree, your principals have no use for these nine machines with accessories?

Mr. Nebulous;  I guess not.

Officer Yang;  Fine. Then we will keep them.

Mr. Nebulous;  May I have a receipt?

Officer Yang; No.

Mr. Nebulous;  Thank you.



Photo Credits:

Using GIMP I cropped and manipulated the original interrogation room photo by Henk Bekker. The manipulation was to add a graphic I created of the Terrex ICV to the wall.

Henk Bekker
DDR Museum in Berlin
Copy of an interrogation room in the DDR Museum Berlin. The East German secret police knew bare rooms, hard furniture and strong lights get the job done.

Creative Commons Licence; Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)



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