´╗┐Customs swoops on chain shops selling suspected counterfeit leather goods (with photo)

1 Sep 2010

Hong Kong Customs yesterday (August 31) raided 17 chain shops and two offices in the territory and seized a large quantity of suspected counterfeit leather goods. Some receipts, computerised information and documents were also seized for further investigation.

The department started in-depth investigations after receiving a trademark owner's complaint several months ago about counterfeiting products allegedly for sale at retail outlets of two companies.

After investigation, it was found that some traders had adopted a trademark on their products without the consent of the trademark owner.

Investigations also revealed that someone had fraudulently claimed that the goods were made in Britain when selling them to customers. In fact the products were not produced in any European country.

More than 100 Customs officers took part in yesterday's operation in searching a number of locations. Some 4,000 suspected counterfeit leather goods worth about $4,450,000 were seized at an office of one of the chain shop companies in Mong Kok and its 15 retail shops in Mong Kok, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui, North Point, Yau Ma Tei and Jordan. Two men and 21 women, aged between 19 and 45, including a director, a manager and staff members of the company were arrested.

On the same day, Customs officers searched the office of another company in Mong Kok and its retail stores in Mong Kok and North Point, resulting in the seizure of about 500 pieces of suspected counterfeit leather goods worth about $550,000 and the arrest of a man and two women, aged between 22 and 41, who were manager and staff members of the company.

Hong Kong Customs spares no effort to combat counterfeiting activities. Trademark owners and members of the public are urged to report any suspected counterfeiting activities to the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

It is a criminal offence for anyone to contravene the Trade Descriptions Ordinance. The maximum penalty is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for five years.

Ends/Wednesday, September 1, 2010

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