BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese authorities in the southern city of Guangzhou last week detained a U.S. pilot for FedEx Corp (FDX.N) on suspicion of smuggling weapons and ammunition, the foreign ministry said on Friday.

The man, identified by the Wall Street Journal as former U.S. Air Force pilot Todd Hohn, was detained on Sept. 12 at the Guangzhou airport after customs discovered 681 air-gun pellets in a box in his luggage as he was preparing to board a flight for Hong Kong, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.

He was later “released from custody, subject to provision of a surety, pending investigation,” Geng told a news conference.

The Journal said Hohn was not being allowed to leave China until the investigation concludes.

Hohn could not be reached for a comment, and calls to the Guangzhou police were not answered.

FedEx, which did not name Hohn, said in a statement it was “working with the appropriate authorities to gain a better understanding of the facts.”

A FedEx spokeswoman declined to give any…

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FedEx pilot detained, released by police in south China
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