Customs arrests two fitness centre staff suspected of wrongly accepting payment

11 Jul 2016

Hong Kong Customs today (July 11) arrested two management staff of a fitness centre in Kowloon Bay, suspected of failing to provide relevant services after having accepted payment from consumers, in contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO).

Customs earlier received complaints from members of a fitness centre alleging that the fitness centre failed to provide relevant services, who had procured fitness club membership and personal trainer lessons. After initial investigation, Customs arrested a 57-year-old man and a 45-year-old woman who are respectively the Company Secretary and management staff of the fitness centre. They were put on bail pending investigation.

Under the TDO, a trader commits an offence if at the time of acceptance of payment, the trader intends not to supply the product or intends to supply a materially different product, or there are no reasonable grounds for believing that the trader will be able to supply the product within a specified or reasonable period. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment of five years. The management staff will also be liable if the offence is committed with their consent or connivance or is attributed to their neglect.

Members of the public may report suspected cases of violation of the TDO to Customs by calling the 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

Ends/Monday, July 11, 2016

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