Customs detects suspected case of applying false trade descriptions in sale of mobile phone

27 Mar 2015

Customs today (March 27) arrested a salesperson at a mobile phone shop who was suspected of applying false trade descriptions in the course of business.

Acting on information, Customs officers today searched a mobile phone shop in Mong Kok and arrested a 21-year-old salesperson. He was suspected to have falsely claimed to a customer that a parallel imported mobile phone was from an authorised dealer. The case is still under investigation and the arrested person has been released on bail pending further investigation.

According to the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO), trade descriptions can be applied by whatever means, including oral and written statements. It is a criminal offence if any person, in the course of trade or commercial practice, applies false trade descriptions or supplies or offers to supply any goods to which a false trade description is applied, or is in the possession of goods with false trade description for the purpose of trade. Offenders are liable to a maximum penalty of a fine of $500,000 and five years' imprisonment upon conviction.

A Customs spokesman reminded traders to abide by the law and advised consumers to visit reputable shops when making purchases. Consumers should have a clear knowledge of product packaging and the terms of warranty services before making any purchases. Consumers should inspect the goods and check with the manufacturer or distributor on the goods when in doubt. Invoices and receipts should also be kept for future reference.

Suspected violations of the TDO could be made to the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

Ends/Friday, March 27, 2015

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