Customs conducts large-scale operation to combat counterfeits before Lunar New Year (with photo)

26 Jan 2014

The Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) carried out a large-scale operation before the Lunar New Year to combat the sale of counterfeit goods. In the last two weeks, the C&ED smashed 29 cases involving the sale of 4 700 pieces of suspected counterfeit goods with a total value of about $700,000. A total of 33 persons were arrested.

In the operation conducted from January 12 to 25. 4 700 items of suspected counterfeit goods including handbags, clothing, sportswear, earphones, shoes and socks were seized. The seizure value amounted to about $700,000. A total of 33 persons, including 15 men and 18 women aged from 18 to 67 were arrested. The arrested persons were put on bail pending further investigations. The operation will continue before the Lunar New Year.

The Head of Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau, Mr Lee Hon-wah, said today (January 26) that the Customs raided retail shops and hawkers in different districts to detect counterfeit goods. Enforcement was also carried out online and 12 internet cases of selling counterfeit goods on auction sites and social networks were smashed.

Mr Lee reminded members of the public to respect intellectual property rights and not to sell or purchase counterfeit goods. It is a criminal offence to sell counterfeit goods, irrespective of whether in physical shops or through online platforms. Once convicted, the maximum penalty is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for five years. Offenders will have criminal records as well.

Mr Lee specifically appealed to young people not to sell goods from unclear source on the internet. Selling counterfeit goods may end up with a criminal record that ruins one's future prospect.

Suspected counterfeiting activities can be reported via the Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

Ends/Sunday, January 26 2014

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