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(CNN Business) —  

A FedEx pilot was recently detained by Chinese authorities in Guangzhou, a city in southern mainland China. It’s the latest in an escalating conflict between the shipping company and the Chinese government.

The Hong Kong-based pilot, Todd Hohn, was trying to board a commercial flight home after making a delivery to mainland China, when he was arrested after a luggage search, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing a family lawyer for Hohn.

FedEx (FDX) spokesperson Davina Cole on Thursday confirmed to CNN Business that a pilot was arrested.

Hohn was carrying “nonmetallic pellets used in low-power replica air guns,” leading Chinese authorities to allege he was illegally carrying ammunition, the Journal said.

China’s foreign ministry confirmed on Friday that a FedEx pilot was detained at Guangzhou airport on September 12 after 681 air-filled pellets were found in his luggage.

Customs officials at the airport detained the pilot on allegations of smuggling weapons and ammunition and later released him on bail pending trial, ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a press briefing. Geng did not name the pilot.

FedEx said the pilot has been released on bail, though the Journal report states he must remain in mainland China until Chinese authorities have completed their investigation. Hohn is a former US Air Force pilot.