Five arrested as Customs seizes HK$11 million worth of fake luxury goods
Customs officers have confiscated HK$11.6 million worth of fake brand-name products ranging from handbags to watches and arrested five people in a three-week citywide operation.
The 10,000 items seized between May 17 and June 9 included footwear, mobile phones, clothing, watches, handbags and fashion accessories, and another 9,300 suspected alternative smoking products.
The cases came to light when Customs identified the smuggled items on trucks entering Hong Kong via two land ports connected to the mainland -- Hueng Yuen Wai and Shenzhen Bay.
The largest case was busted on June 2, where officers seized more than 2,200 suspected counterfeit products and 9,300 alternative tobacco products worth of HK$5.2 million on a truck crossing Shenzhen Bay.
Also at Shenzhen Bay, officers found 1,300 counterfeit products worth of HK$350,000 on May 25.
The other two cases were busted at Heung Yuen-wai on May 17 and 23, where customs seized 700 counterfeits worth of HK$180,000 and 1,300 counterfeits worth of HK$420,000 respectively.
Customs' Intellectual Property Transnational Investigation Unit are following up with the four cases.
Four male truck drivers aged between 50 and 60 were arrested.
Customs senior inspector Marcus Leung Man-chung said officers subsequently raided various logistics companies in Yuen Long, Tsing Yi, Kwai Chung and To Kwa Wan, as well as a shop in Kwun Tong, where they found 4,000 more counterfeits worth of HK$5.4 million.
Officers also arrested a 57-year-old female owner of a Kwun Tong retail shop, where they suspected some of the suspected counterfeit goods were being sold.
Customs believed that most of the seized counterfeits would be further exported to the United States, Europe, and the Middle East, while some would be sold locally.
The investigation is ongoing and the five arrested persons have been released on bail pending further investigation, said the spokesman.
Customs appeals to consumers to procure goods at reputable shops or websites and to check with the trademark owners or authorized agents if the authenticity of a product is in doubt. Also, traders and online sellers are reminded not to sell counterfeit goods and to be cautious and prudent in merchandising.
The spokesman noted that the sale of counterfeit goods is a serious crime and offenders are liable to criminal sanctions.
Under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, any person who imports or exports or sells or possesses for sale any goods to which a forged trademark is applied commits an offense. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of HK$500,000 and imprisonment for five years.