Hong Kong Customs today (December 14) arrested a female director of a beauty parlour suspected of engaging in wrongly accepting payment when selling beauty services, in contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO).
Customs had earlier received information alleging that a beauty parlour in Sai Kung failed to provide beauty services purchased by customers. Customs officers immediately conducted an investigation and found that customers who had purchased prepaid beauty services were unable to use the services concerned after the beauty parlour suddenly announced business suspension earlier. The beauty parlour also failed to arrange refunds to the customers.
After a follow-up investigation, Customs officers today conducted an enforcement operation and arrested a 59-year-old female director of the beauty parlour connected with the case.
An investigation is ongoing and the arrested woman has been released on bail pending further investigation.
Customs has been paying close attention to the incident and called on members of the public affected by the incident to provide information. As of today, Customs had received a total of 52 complaints regarding that beauty parlour, involving beauty contracts amounting to about $1.1 million.
Customs reminds traders to comply with the requirements of the TDO. Consumers are also reminded to procure services at reputable shops and think prudently before making decisions for consumption with prepayment.
Under the TDO, any trader commits an offence if at the time of acceptance of payment, the trader intends not to supply the product or intends to supply a materially different product, or there are no reasonable grounds for believing that the trader will be able to supply the product within a specified or reasonable period. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for five years.
Members of the public may report any suspected violations of the TDO to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (firstname.lastname@example.org).