Counterfeit crackdown: HK officials seizes over HK$500,000 worth of cosmetics from alleged counterfeit syndicates

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

HK Customs has confiscated an estimated HK$590,000 ($75,493) worth of cosmetic goods after busting two alleged counterfeit cosmetics rings in a five-day operation. ©GettyImages
HK Customs has confiscated an estimated HK$590,000 ($75,493) worth of cosmetic goods after busting two alleged counterfeit cosmetics rings in a five-day operation. ©GettyImages
The Hong Kong Customs has confiscated an estimated HK$590,000 ($75,493) worth of cosmetic goods after busting two alleged counterfeit cosmetics rings in a five-day operation.

The authority raided seven shops and three storage facilities and an estimated total of 6,400 skin care and cosmetic products were found and confiscated.

The cosmetic products seized during the operation included toner, lotion, moisturising gel and sunscreen.

Anti-counterfeit operation

According to the press statement, the aforementioned shops were first suspected during the routine patrols of Custom officers.

The agency took further action after an in-depth investigation with the assistance of the trademark owners.

Six retail outlets in Causeway Bay, Yau Ma Tei and Sheung Shui were first raided and around 1,400 suspicious cosmetic products were confiscated.

After further investigation, the agency focused on two suppliers suspected of distributing the products.

It raided another retail shop in Sheung Shui and three storage facilities of the two suppliers located in Yuen Long and Fanling, where it seized another 5,000 alleged counterfeit cosmetic products.

According to Hong Kong Customs, it arrested 13 people in total, including five directors, one shop owner and six salespersons, aged between 23 and 46.

However, the investigation is ongoing and all arrested individuals have been released on bail pending further investigation.

Under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, any person who sells or possesses for sale any goods with a forged trademark commits an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of HK$500,000 ($63,970) and up to five years of imprisonment.

Enforcing tough actions

Peggy Tam, divisional commander, intellectual property general investigation, Hong Kong Customs, said at the press conference that the authority has been taking stringent measures to enforce actions against the sale and distribution of counterfeit goods.

The same week, officials Hong Kong Customs and Department of Health jointly raided a medical centre in Tsim Sha Tsui where it found and seized 162 boxes of suspected counterfeit vaccines with an estimated market value of about HK$750,000 ($95,951).

Tam reminded traders to be cautious and prudent in merchandising and warned that the sale of counterfeit goods is a serious crime and offenders are liable to criminal sanctions.

She concluded by appealing to the public to purchase goods at reputable shops and encouraged them to flag suspicious products with trademark owners or authorised agents if the authenticity of the product was in doubt.

Related topics: Regulation & Safety

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