The Customs and Excise Department today (February 4) reminded members of the public to watch out for the supply of fake abalone slices in the market and reminded consumers to refrain from buying dried seafood of unreasonably low prices.
Customs officers, posed as customers, test-purchased from a suspicious dried seafood supplier dried abalone slices and sent the samples to the Government Laboratory for testing. The Customs found that the tested samples were not abalone as claimed but were species of conch. The Customs today seized 48 catties of suspected fake dried abalone slices worth about $46,000 from the respective supplier and retailer for suspected contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance. In the operation, the supplier's proprietor was arrested for further investigation.
A Customs spokesman said, genuine abalone were sold generally at a few thousand to over 10,000 dollars per catty and the genuine goods were rarely sold in slices. The Customs appealed to the public to be cautious when buying dried seafood. Consumers should consider patronizing shops with a good reputation.
The Customs also reminded traders that supplying goods with a false trade description is a serious offence under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance. Any person who supplies or offers to supply any goods with a false trade description commits an offence and liable for a maximum fine of $500,000 and five years' imprisonment.
Members of the public may report any suspected violations of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.
Ends/Wednesday, February 4, 2015