Hong Kong Customs mounted a special operation on July 14 to combat the use of counterfeit devices by beauty parlours to provide slimming treatments. Six suspected counterfeit slimming devices with an estimated market value of about $210,000 were seized at six beauty parlours. Seven persons were arrested.
Customs earlier received information alleging that suspected counterfeit slimming devices were being used by beauty parlours to provide slimming treatments for customers. After in-depth investigation with the assistance of the trademark owner, Customs officers took enforcement action on July 14 and raided six beauty parlours in Tsim Sha Tsui, Yau Ma Tei, Cheung Sha Wan and Ma On Shan. One suspected counterfeit slimming device and a batch of promotional materials of the relevant slimming treatments were seized at each of the beauty parlours.
Seven women, including five shop owners and two beauticians, aged between 30 and 50, were arrested during the operation.
Investigation is ongoing. All the arrested persons have been released on bail pending further investigation.
Customs will continue to maintain stringent law enforcement and close contact with relevant trademark owners to keep track of the market with a view to fighting against the use of counterfeit goods for the purpose of trade.
Customs reminds traders to be cautious and prudent in merchandising since possession of counterfeit goods for any purpose of trade is a serious crime and offenders are liable to criminal sanctions. Consumers are also reminded to make purchases at reputable shops and to check with the trademark owners or their authorised agents if the authenticity of a product is in doubt.
Under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, any person who possesses for the purpose of trade any goods with a forged trademark commits an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for five years.
Members of the public may report any suspected counterfeiting activities to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (email@example.com).
Ends/Friday, July 16, 2021