US senator arrested in Hong Kong for carrying unregistered firearm

Beijing, Oct 24 (EFE).- US Republican Senator Jeff Wilson was arrested at the Hong Kong airport for carrying an unregistered revolver in his luggage but was later released on bail, public broadcaster RTHK reported Tuesday.

Wilson was arrested on Saturday and appeared before the Sha Tin Court two days later to face charges of carrying a firearm without a license, RTHK said.

The 63-year-old senator from the US state of Washington was released on bail and ordered to reappear in court on Oct. 30.

Carrying weapons without a license is an offense under the laws of the former British colony with sentences of up to 14 years in prison and a fine of HK$100,000 ($12,785).

The senator, who was on a personal vacation trip to Southeast Asia with his wife, said in a statement posted on his website that what had happened was an “honest mistake” and he expected it to be “resolved shortly.”

Wilson also refuted media reports that the weapon was discovered during a bag check.

The senator said that he realized he was carrying the weapon in his briefcase mid-flight between San Francisco and Hong Kong and immediately notified the customs officials about the matter upon landing in the Asian city.

Wilson also pointed out that the pistol was properly registered in Washington state, although not in Hong Kong.

The US politician said he hoped to resume his vacation, which includes stops in Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia, once the matter was resolved. EFE


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