Fruit stall owners fined over short weight cases (with photo)

26 Aug 2008

Thirteen fruit stall operators were fined from $10,000 to $300 under the Weights and Measures Ordinance in the first seven months of this year after pleading guilty to supplying fruit of short weight.

Another four fruit stall operators recently found to have committed the same offence will be prosecuted shortly.

With the Mid-Autumn Festival approaching, Customs officers would continue taking enforcement actions against selling of fruit of short weight to protect consumer interests and to uphold a fair trading environment, Deputy Head (Consumer Protection) of the Consumer Protection Bureau of the Customs and Excise Department, Mr Wong Yiu-cheung, said today (August 26).

“According to the examination results of the Government Laboratory, the net weight of the fruit sold by the 17 fruit stall operators was less than the purported weight. The shortage ranged from 5% to 50%,” Mr Wong said.

“Seven of the stall operators were found to have used defective weighing equipment. The remaining 10 stall operators claimed a weight heavier than the actual one when they sold the goods to customers,” Mr Wong added.

The fruit sold included plums, grapes, cherries, lychees, longans, mangoes and tangerines.

Customs officers posing as customers purchased the fruit at various marketplaces in Wan Chai, Shau Kei Wan, Mong Kok, Jordan, Yau Ma Tei and Tai Po on several occasions.

After the transactions, the officers revealed their identities and checked the net weight of the purchased fruit and the accuracy of the weighing equipment used by the stall operators.

In subsequent examinations by the Government Laboratory, discrepancies were found between the net weight and the purported weight of the fruit, while the seized weighing equipment was confirmed defective.

Under the Weights and Measures Ordinance, any person who in the course of trade supplies goods to another person by weight or measure, should supply the goods in net weight or net measure. Any shortage of quantity purporting to be supplied is an offence. The maximum penalty is a fine of $10,000. Further, any person who uses for trade or has in his possession for use for trade any weighing or measuring equipment which is false or defective commits an offence. The maximum penalty is a fine of $20,000.

Ends/Tuesday, August 26, 2008

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