A former US Air Force Colonel flying for FedEx was detained in the southern Chinese region of Guangzhou for possession of “ammunition,” which turned out to be little more than 6mm plastic BBs.
Todd Hohn was taken into custody on Tuesday before he could board his Cathay Dragon flight after airsoft BBs were found in his luggage.
Despite the fact that he had previously cleared a security checkpoint through Japan (which is one of the most stringent in the world) and a FedEx screening facility in Guangzhou, the Chinese police found the plastic spheres, and determined that they were “illegal ammunition.”
“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,” a FedEx spokeswoman said.
Prior to flying for FedEx, the Florida resident served as the commander of an air wing at Altus Air Force Base in Oklahoma and had flown cargo planes for much of his career.
FedEx employees have come under serious scrutiny by the Chinese ever since the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, and the company is facing numerous investigations in China for delivery irregularities related to Huawei.
According to the Daily Mail, the airline that Hohn was flying, Cathay Dragon, had also angered the Chinese government by expressing support for Hong Kong.
Hohn is currently held up in a local hotel and is not allowed to leave the mainland until the investigation is complete. It is unknown if the incident will hurt his career with FedEx.
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