With the Lunar New Year around the corner, to deter unscrupulous shops selling infringing items, Hong Kong Customs mounted a two-week operation starting from January 25 in various districts and at the control points to combat the sale activities of counterfeit goods.
During the operation, Customs officers conducted blitz against the sale of counterfeit goods at hot shopping spots in Tsim Sha Tsui, Yau Ma Tei and Mongkok. Together with trade mark owners, the officers also conducted raids on retailers and wholesalers in various districts. They found some shops were selling counterfeit items or mixing infringing goods with the genuine ones to confuse customers.
As a result, Customs officers raided 25 retail shops, 10 stores and 9 hawker stalls, and seized more than 45,000 counterfeit items, including popular Lunar New Year goods, high-tech electronic products, clothing and shoes, with a total value of over $6 million. Among the 23 men and 32 women aged from 18 to 78 arrested, there were shop proprietors and salespersons.
Customs also mounted operations at different control points to curb smuggling of infringing goods into Hong Kong. In the operations, a total of 5,495 vehicles and more than 9,000 passengers were inspected, with 3 cases effected and over 65,000 items of counterfeit goods, worth about $1.1 million seized. Three men and a woman, aged from 36 to 52, were arrested.
Speaking at a press briefing today (February 8), the Acting Group Head (Intellectual Property Investigation (Administration and Support)), Mr Koon Hon-chuen, appealed to members of the public to be cautious about the quality of goods and the price when doing shopping. They should contact the trade mark owners or their authorised agents if they encounter any suspicious goods.
The department will continue to conduct inspections and raids at hot shopping spots with a view to fighting against the sale of counterfeit goods during the Lunar New Year period, he added.
Under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, it is a criminal offence for any person who sells or has in his/her possession for purpose of trade any goods with forged trade marks. The maximum penalty is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for five years.
Anyone who comes across any suspected counterfeiting activities can report to Customs by calling the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.
Ends/Monday, February 8, 2010