Boom in teenage arrests for selling counterfeit goods online

Hong Kong Customs officials report they have arrested a record number of teenagers for selling counterfeit goods online via social media.

According to a report in the South China Morning Post, officials have arrested double the number of teenagers in the first 11 months of 2015 as in the entire previous year.

The majority of the arrested – 54 secondary school pupils and 28 university students – were allegedly selling fake goods on social media, with Facebook an especially popular channel.

Last year, just 41 arrested were made, according to Louise Ho, head of the intellectual property investigation bureau of the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department.

The 82 arrests accounted for nearly 40 per cent of all the counterfeit arrests made by customs this year.

Ho says students seem unaware of their legal responsibilities and the criminal nature of selling counterfeit goods online, and see the trade as easy money.

They appear unaware it is insufficient defence legally to disclose the goods are counterfeit.

Read the full report on the South China Morning Post website, including details of selected cases.

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