Customs officers yesterday (July 14) arrested a 12-year-old female Form-1 secondary student suspected of being involved in selling counterfeit goods during the summer vacation. A 23-year-old man who was suspected of directing the girl to deliver the suspected counterfeit goods to a Customs officer disguised as a buyer was also arrested.
Acting on information that a seller was offering suspected counterfeit cosmetics on an Internet auction site, a Customs officer, disguised as a buyer, arranged to make a transaction yesterday afternoon. In the operation the girl was arrested and a batch of suspected counterfeit cosmetics including perfume, brushes, eye shadow and powder base with a total value of about $3,000 were seized.
Acting on information provided by the girl, officers arrested the man believed to be the seller who had directed the girl to deliver the suspected counterfeit goods. Another batch of suspected counterfeit cosmetics with a total value of about $4,000 was seized at his residence.
After investigation, it was believed that the seller tried to evade law enforcement and to lower the risk of being arrested by recruiting young people through online social networks to deliver the goods. They received $20 for each transaction when they delivered the goods obtained from the man to the buyers.
A Customs spokesperson today (July 15) appealed to members of the public to respect intellectual property rights and not to purchase or sell counterfeit goods. Young people should avoid getting involved in selling counterfeit goods. They should remain vigilant when applying for summer jobs. Parents are also reminded to pay attention to their children and give them proper guidance. Selling counterfeit goods is a serious crime and offenders would receive a criminal record when convicted. Young people should refrain from engaging in illegal activities that might ruin their future prospects.
Anyone with suspected counterfeiting activities to report may call the 24-hour Customs Hotline 2545 6182.
Ends/Tuesday, July 15, 2014