Hong Kong Customs yesterday (September 14) conducted a territory-wide operation against the sale of mid-autumn-festival-related infringing confectionaries and products at markets and on online platforms. A total of 213 boxes of suspected counterfeit mooncakes, and 1 058 pieces of suspected infringing lanterns, toys, stationary and other goods with an estimated market value of about $110,000 were seized.
Customs earlier received information alleging the sale of suspected counterfeit mooncakes at retail shops and from online sellers. After investigation, Customs officers mounted the operation yesterday and seized a total of 213 boxes of suspected counterfeit mooncakes with an estimated market value of about $60,000 at two shops at Sheung Shui and Sham Shui Po. Three men and two women, including two shop owners, two shop assistants and an online seller, aged from 38 to 59, were arrested.
Furthermore, Customs conducted patrols in various districts in Hong Kong earlier and found that suspected infringing lanterns were being sold in retail shops. After investigation, six retail shops in Chai Wan, Shau Kei Wan, Sham Shui Po, To Kwa Wan, Kwai Fong and Kwai Hing were raided yesterday. A total of 1 058 pieces of suspected infringing lanterns, toys, stationary and other goods with an estimated market value of about $50,000 were seized. Five men and five women were arrested, including six shop owners and four shop assistants, aged between 45 and 68.
All arrested persons have been released on bail pending further investigations. Investigation is ongoing.
The Divisional Commander (Intellectual Property General Investigation) of Customs, Ms Peggy Tam, said at a press conference today that Customs has been taking stringent enforcement actions against the sale of infringing goods. Customs will step up patrols and combat sales of infringing confectionaries and products relating to the mid-autumn festival during the festive period.
Customs appeals to consumers to procure items at reputable shops and to check with the trademark owners or the copyright owners or their authorised agents if the authenticity of a product is in doubt.
Customs also reminds traders to be cautious and prudent in merchandising since the sale of infringing goods is a serious crime and offenders are liable to criminal sanctions.
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.
Under the Copyright Ordinance, any person who sells or possesses for sale infringing items commits an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $50,000 for each infringing copy and imprisonment for four years.
Members of the public may report any suspected infringing activities to the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.
Ends/Friday, September 15, 2017