Hong Kong Customs' Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau today (January 19) mounted a special raid operation and cracked down on two retail shops of a syndicate selling suspected counterfeit cosmetics. Customs Officers seized about 100 items of suspected counterfeit cosmetic products with a total value of about $5,000. Two female salespersons, aged 17 and 23, were arrested.
Customs earlier received a complaint about the sale of suspected counterfeit cosmetics in the Mong Kok area. Upon investigation, Customs officers raided two shops in Mong Kok this afternoon. About 100 items of suspected counterfeit cosmetics were seized including lipstick, make-up remover pens, mascara and eye shadow. Two female salespersons were arrested. Investigation is ongoing.
The cosmetic products seized in the operation carried the same Korean brand name. Some of the products seized resembled those of a product line of the brand, but the package differed significantly from the original products. Some of the seized products were found to be not even produced by the original manufacturer. Similar packaging to a product line of the brand was used to pack the goods and such counterfeit cosmetics were claimed to be limited edition in order to obtain a higher profit margin.
Customs advises consumers to purchase goods from the brand's own store or reputable shops. Prior to making a purchase decision, consumers should try to learn more about the product details such as the appearance and the packaging. Customs officers would conduct anti-counterfeit patrols in various districts and on the Internet. Retailers should be prudent and should pay attention when sourcing goods and obtain their goods from reputable suppliers.
According to the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, anyone who sells or possesses for sale any goods to which a forged trademark is applied commits an offence. Upon conviction, offenders may be liable to a maximum fine of $500,000 and imprisonment of five years.
Anyone who comes across suspected counterfeiting activities can make a report to Customs on the 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.
Ends/Monday, January 19, 2015