´╗┐Customs cracks online sale of counterfeit cosmetics

17 Nov 2009

Hong Kong Customs yesterday (November 16) detected a case of selling suspected counterfeit cosmetics, seizing a batch of suspected counterfeit cosmetics and a computer, with a total value of about $29,000. A 21-year-old female student was arrested.

Customs previously received reports on the sale of suspected counterfeit cosmetics on a local internet auction site. Acting on the information, Customs officers of the Anti-Internet Piracy Team found that some suspected counterfeit cosmetics and make-up tools were being sold on the site with prices 40% to 70% lower than the actual prices of the products. Posing as a customer, a Customs officer contacted the suspect and deposited the money into a designated bank account.

Yesterday afternoon, the Customs officer, posing as the buyer, went to the Tuen Mun Light Rail Station for the trade and arrested the woman at the scene. Four items of suspected counterfeit cosmetics and make-up tools were seized. The suspect was then taken to a residential flat in Tin Shui Wai, Tuen Mun, where 345 items of suspected counterfeit cosmetics and make-up tools, including facial soap, sunscreen, make-up powder and eyeliner, were located. Customs officers also seized a computer suspected to have been used for carrying out the online auction activities.

Speaking at a press conference today (November 17) , Group Head (Intellectual Property Investigation (Operations)), Mr Thomas Lin, reminded people to beware of any kind of pirated or counterfeit goods when shopping on internet auction sites. If they were in any doubt about the authenticity of the goods, they should contact the trade mark owners for more information.

He said, "Internet users should avoid being misled into buying pirated or counterfeit goods resulting in monetary loss. Hong Kong Customs will step up enforcement actions against online sale of counterfeit products."

Under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, it is a criminal offence to sell goods with forged trade marks. The maximum penalty is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for five years. Anyone who comes across any suspected online piracy activities is encouraged to report to Customs by calling the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

Ends/Tuesday, November 17, 2009

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