A FedEx pilot was arrested in China and released on bail, the company said Thursday, amid an ongoing row with Beijing over the US firm’s delivery irregularities involving telecoms giant Huawei.
Todd Hohn, a former US Air Force pilot, was arrested by Chinese authorities a week ago as he waited for a commercial flight in the company’s Asia hub of Guangzhou, after making a round of deliveries.
After the arrest, authorities searched his luggage where they found air gun pellets, a source close to the matter told AFP.
“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 told AFP, confirming information first published in the Wall Street Journal.
Chinese authorities have opened a criminal investigation, according to the paper.
FedEx is facing multiple investigations in China, where it has come under fire for delivery irregularities related to Huawei.
In May, FedEx apologized for “misrouting” what it said was a “small number” of Huawei packages.
Huawei said at the time it would review its ties with the courier service over the incident.
A Chinese government probe launched in June accused FedEx of holding up more than 100 packages from Huawei.
The row comes as Beijing and Washington face off in a trade war in which both sides have exchanged steep tariffs on hundreds of billions of exports.
Huawei is also facing moves by the United States to blacklist the Chinese tech firm, cutting it off from American-made components it needs for products.