HK and Guangdong Customs combat cross-boundary piracy

7 Sep 2004

Hong Kong Customs officers from the Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau today (September 10) concluded a two-day anti-piracy parallel operation with their counterparts in Guangdong Customs.

As the 11th round of such operations, this parallel crackdown operation targeted cross-boundary vehicles smuggling infringing optical discs and counterfeit products into Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Customs officers have seized from three incoming lorries at Man Kam To Control Point $1.5 million worth of infringing goods, including about 5,000 pirated optical discs, 1,000 counterfeit handbags, 4,000 pairs of sports shoes and 15,000 telephone accessories. They also arrested three drivers, aged 45 to 53.

In follow-up investigations into one of the cases, Customs officers arrested two men, aged 22 and 29, in Sham Shui Po when they allegedly received some of the infringing goods.

The Divisional Commander of the Copyright Investigation Division, Mr Chong Wai-ming, said today (September 10) that Hong Kong Customs would continue to mount similar parallel operations with their Guangdong counterparts to clamp down on piracy and protect intellectual property rights.

He believed that such operations, with instant exchange of intelligence between the two Customs administrations, would serve as an effective deterrence to potential offenders.

Under the Copyright Ordinance, anyone who is found in possession of or importing any pirated article for commercial purposes is liable to prosecution. The maximum penalty for the offence is a fine of $50,000 per disc and four years' imprisonment.

Under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, anyone importing goods with forged trade marks is liable to prosecution. The maximum penalty is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for five years.

Ends/Friday, September 10, 2004

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