Customs seizes $1.4 million worth of counterfeit clothes from boutiques and warehouses

14 Jan 2005

Hong Kong Customs yesterday (January 13) conducted a large-scale anti-counterfeiting operation and raided ten boutiques respectively in Central, Causeway Bay and Kowloon City, as well as four warehouses in Lan Kwai Fong, resulting in the seizure of 4,100 suspected counterfeit clothes, worth about $1.4 million.

Two men and 12 women, aged between 26 and 60, were arrested. They have been put on bail pending further investigation.

The operation was conducted following two-month-long investigations by the Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau of the Customs and Excise Department into a complaint received from the public.

In the operation yesterday, Custom officers raided eight fashion shops in the shopping arcade of a commercial building in Central, and two boutiques respectively located in Causeway Bay and in Kowloon City. As a result, 1,300 counterfeit clothes of various brand names, worth about $660,000, were seized.

Custom offices also seized from four warehouses in Lan Kwai Fong 2,800 counterfeit clothes, worth about $740,000.

The total 4,100 seized items included women's clothes, men's suits, and scarves.

Customs believed that the counterfeiters had attempted to misrepresent to customers that the counterfeit goods were off-season genuine goods, parallel imported goods or second hand goods under the pretext of purchase discounts.

Members of the public are warned not to contravene the Trade Descriptions Ordinance or they will be liable to prosecution. The maximum penalty for the offence is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for five years.

Hong Kong Customs reminded the public to report any cases of suspected counterfeiting activities, including distribution and sale of counterfeit goods, to the Department by calling the 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

Ends/Friday, January 14, 2005

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