Chinese authorities have detained a FedEx Corp pilot in the southern city of Guangzhou, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sept. 19, citing a lawyer for the pilot’s family.
The detention comes as FedEx faces other investigations in China amid tense U.S.-China trade talks.
The pilot, a former U.S. Air Force pilot named Todd A. Hohn, was detained on Sept. 12 while waiting for a commercial flight to his home in Hong Kong after flying deliveries throughout Asia from the Guangzhou airport, a FedEx regional hub, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.
“Chinese authorities in Guangzhou detained and later released one of our pilots on bail after an item was found in his luggage prior to a commercial flight,” Federal Express said in a statement to WSJ. “We are working with the appropriate authorities to gain a better understanding of the facts.”
When Hohn was detained, authorities found nonmetallic pellets used in low-power replica air guns in a checked bag, according to the people familiar with the matter. They also said the Chinese authorities have alleged that Hohn was illegally transporting ammunition and have begun a criminal investigation, WSJ reported.
FedEX did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
China launched an investigation into FedEx in June over Huawei parcels delivered to the wrong address, without giving details about the deliveries in question. It was a move by Beijing to retaliate against the United States amid escalating trade tensions.
In May, the U.S. Commerce Department, citing national security concerns, placed Huawei on an “entity list,” effectively forbidding it from conducting business with U.S. firms.
The United States and China have been engaged in a trade war for 14 months on issues such as tariffs, subsidies, technology, regulations and cyber security.
By Rachit Vats. The Wall Street Journal and The Epoch Times contributed to this report.