Hong Kong Customs combats unfair trade practices at ginseng and dried seafood shop

16 Apr 2019

Hong Kong Customs yesterday (April 15) arrested two male directors and one male salesperson of a ginseng and dried seafood shop suspected to have applied a false trade description in the sale of American ginseng, in contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO).

Customs earlier received information alleging that salesmen of a ginseng and dried seafood shop in Mong Kok used a gift to attract a customer and further claimed that American ginseng was being sold at a specific price. After the goods were sliced, the salesmen revealed that the American ginseng was priced per tael. The price was 16 times different from expected.

After investigation, Customs officers yesterday arrested three men, aged between 27 and 42.

Investigation is ongoing and the arrested men have been released on bail pending further investigation.

Customs will continue to step up inspection and enforcement with the coming of the Labour Day Golden Week period.

Customs reminds traders to comply with the requirements of the TDO and consumers to purchase products from reputable shops. Consumers should also be cautious about the unit price and ask for more information, including the total price of the goods selected, before making a purchase decision.

Under the TDO, any person who in the course of any trade or business applies a false trade description to any goods commits an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for 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 any suspected violations of the TDO to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (crimereport@customs.gov.hk).

Ends/Tuesday, April 16, 2019

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