Six businessmen fined for supplying fake crocodile meat

3 Sep 2008

Six businessmen have been fined from $1,000 to $60,000 under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance this year for supplying to consumers water monitor lizard meat and snake meat which were falsely described as crocodile meat.

In the latest case, a man was convicted on September 1 and fined $60,000 at the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts. The court heard that officers of the Customs and Excise Department, posing as customers, bought from a shop at Ko Shing Street, Sheung Wan, on September 17, 2007, three taels of "crocodile meat" at $30. Subsequent testing confirmed that the alleged crocodile meat was in fact water monitor lizard meat. As a result, Customs summonsed the businessman for supplying, in the course of trade or business, water monitor lizard meat to which a false trade description "crocodile meat" was applied.

A spokesman for the Customs and Excise Department warned today (September 3) that contravening the Trade Descriptions Ordinance would have serious consequences.

Under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, any person who supplies, in the course of trade or business, any goods to which a false trade description is applied commits an offence. On summary conviction, the offender will face a maximum penalty of a fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for two years.

The spokesman added that Customs officers would continue to take rigorous enforcement action to crack down on trade malpractices which harm consumer interests.

Ends/Wednesday, September 3, 2008

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