Customs has carried out an operation targeting the sale of counterfeit goods on Internet platforms, including auction sites and social networks, since May this year. Up to June 15, Customs had cracked 37 cases involving the sale of counterfeit goods on Internet auction sites and other Internet platforms.
Starting from May 1, about 80 Customs officers from the Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau were mobilised to conduct an operation targeting the sale of counterfeit goods on Internet platforms.
During the operation, Customs officers seized 2 282 counterfeit items, including sport shoes, handbags, wallets, jewellery, sunglasses, clothing, shoes and socks. Thirty computers were also seized. The total seizure amounted to about $560,000.
Forty persons, including 12 women and 28 men, aged from 18 to 60, were arrested in the operation. Among them, 24 were employed, nine were unemployed and seven were post-secondary students. They were put on bail pending further investigations. The operation is still in progress.
Customs detected a total of 59 cases involving the sale of counterfeit goods on Internet platforms in the first six months of this year. Compared to 23 cases in the same period last year, there was an increase of 150 per cent, reflecting an upward trend.
The Group Head (Intellectual Property Investigation (Operations)), Mr Michael Kwan, said at a press conference today (June 17) that offenders usually adopted face-to-face delivery of the counterfeit goods or sent the counterfeit goods to buyers by postal service to minimise the risk of being caught red-handed by Customs.
Mr Kwan pointed out that some sellers of counterfeit goods have extended from auction sites to other Internet platforms such as social networks or dedicated websites.
He urged members of the public to respect intellectual property rights. Sale of infringing goods is a serious crime and once convicted, offenders will have criminal records. Mr Kwan appealed to members of the public, especially young people, not to commit the crime. He also reminded members of the public of the risk of getting counterfeit goods when buying online.
According to the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, it is a criminal offence to sell or to possess for the purpose of business counterfeit goods. The maximum penalty is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for five years.
Anyone who comes across any suspected counterfeiting activities can make a report to Customs by calling the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.
Ends/Monday, June 17 2013Back to Press Releases Index Page