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Hong Kong Customs combats supply and sale of suspected counterfeit cosmetic and skin care products

22 December 2017


Hong Kong Customs conducted a two-day special operation on December 20 and 21 to combat the sale of suspected counterfeit cosmetic and skin care products. In the operation, Customs smashed a criminal syndicate supplying and distributing suspected counterfeit cosmetic and skin care products and raided nine retail shops selling suspected counterfeit cosmetic and skin care products. A total of about 5 200 pieces of suspected counterfeit cosmetic and skin care products with an estimated market value of about $670,000 was seized. Twelve persons, comprising 11 men and one women aged between 25 and 58, were arrested.

Customs had earlier received information from trademark owners alleging the sale of suspected counterfeit cosmetic and skin care products at retail shops. Upon an in-depth investigation and with the assistance of trademark owners, Customs took enforcement actions on December 20 and 21 and raided nine retail shops in Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei. A total of about 500 pieces of suspected counterfeit cosmetic and skin care products, including cleanser, powder, base powder, facial mask and serum, with an estimated market value of about $70,000 were seized. Nine men and one woman aged between 25 and 43 were arrested, comprising two proprietors and eight salespersons.

During the operation, Customs also cracked down on a criminal syndicate supplying and distributing suspected counterfeit cosmetic and skin care products, and raided the storage of this syndicate located in Tsing Yi. About 4 700 pieces of suspected counterfeit cosmetic and skincare products with an estimated market value of about $600,000 were seized. A 31-year-old male syndicate head and a 58-year-old male driver were arrested.

Investigation is ongoing.

Customs Group Head (Intellectual Property Investigation (Operations)), Mr Guy Fong, said at a press conference today (December 22) that Customs has been taking stringent enforcement actions against the sale of counterfeit goods. He appealed to consumers to purchase items at reputable shops and to check with the trademark owners or their authorized agents if the authenticity of a product is in doubt. He also reminded traders to be cautious and prudent in merchandising since the sale of counterfeit goods is a serious crime and offenders are liable to criminal sanctions.

Customs will step up enforcement actions against counterfeit activities during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, any person who sells or possesses for sale any goods with a forged trademark commits an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for five years.

Members of the public may report any suspected infringing activities to the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

 

Ends/Friday, December 22, 2017

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