Hong Kong Customs mounted an operation yesterday (January 29) to combat counterfeit proprietary Chinese medicines. In the operation, Customs smashed a criminal syndicate distributing and selling suspected counterfeit proprietary Chinese medicines. A total of about 3 900 boxes (140 000 capsules) and 500 bottles (28 litres) of suspected counterfeit proprietary Chinese medicines with an estimated market value of about $500,000 were seized. Three men and two women, aged from 28 to 54, were arrested.
Customs earlier received information alleging that suspected counterfeit proprietary Chinese medicines were being distributed and sold in the retail market. After an in-depth investigation and with the assistance of trademark owners, Customs officers took enforcement actions yesterday and cracked down on a criminal syndicate in connection with distribution and sale of suspected counterfeit proprietary Chinese medicines. A total of about 3 500 boxes (130 000 capsules) and 500 bottles (28 litres) of suspected counterfeit proprietary Chinese medicines were seized at the syndicate's storage and distribution centre located in Chai Wan. A 29-year-old female syndicate head and two syndicate members, aged 52 and 54, were arrested.
During the operation, Customs also raided two retail shops in Mong Kok and seized about 400 boxes (10 000 capsules) of suspected counterfeit proprietary Chinese medicines. Two male salespersons, aged 28 and 37, were arrested.
Investigation is ongoing.
Customs Group Head (Intellectual Property Investigation (Operations)), Mr Guy Fong, said at a press conference today (January 30) that Customs has been taking stringent enforcement actions against the sale of counterfeit goods. He appealed to consumers to purchase items at reputable shops and to check with the trademark owners or their authorised agents if the authenticity of a product is in doubt. He also reminded traders to be cautious and prudent in merchandising, since the sale of counterfeit goods is a serious crime and offenders are liable to criminal sanctions.
Customs will step up enforcement actions against counterfeit activities during the Chinese New Year holidays.
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.
Members of the public may report any suspected infringing activities to the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.
Ends/Tuesday, January 30, 2018