Customs seizes counterfeit canned food

7 Apr 2006

Hong Kong Customs officers yesterday (April 6) cracked a case involving the sale of counterfeit canned luncheon meat and preserved vegetables.

In raids against three supermarkets respectively in North Point, Siu Sai Wan and Sai Wan, and four food distribution companies respectively in To Kwa Wan, Kowloon City and Yau Tong, Customs officers seized 36,000 cans of luncheon meat and 2,000 cans of preserved vegetables, worth about $150,000.

They arrested 10 men and three women, aged between 21 and 55, including eight directors, three managers and two staffs.

Following extensive investigation based on a trademark owner's complaint, Customs officers raided three supermarkets yesterday, seizing 2,000 cans of luncheon meat.

In subsequent investigation on the same day, Customs officers raided four food distribution companies suspected of supplying the canned food. They seized from these companies' warehouses and offices located respectively in factory buildings in To Kwa Wan, Kowloon City and Yau Tong 34,000 cans of luncheon meat and 2,000 cans of preserved vegetables.

Initial investigation showed that the counterfeit goods were priced lower than genuine products. According to preliminary test results from Government Laboratory, the counterfeit canned food did not contain substances harmful to people.

"Since we suspect that the involved food came from Mainland, we have referred details to Mainland Customs for follow-up action," a spokesman for the Customs and Excise Department said today (April 7).

He reiterated that the Department accorded high priority to clamping down on counterfeit food activities. Customs officers would with the assistance of trademark owners maintain close surveillance in the market, and take prompt action accordingly.

Regarding the counterfeit canned food in this case, enquiries can be made during office hours (from 9am to 5.30pm) to the concerned trademark owner at 2564 7108 or to Customs special hotline at 2716 2385.

The public is also encouraged to report any suspected counterfeiting activities to Hong Kong Customs by calling the 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

Any person who contravenes the Trade Descriptions Ordinance is liable to prosecution. The maximum penalty is a fine of $500,000 and an imprisonment for five years.

Ends/Friday, April 7, 2006

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