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Operation Octopus cracks down on counterfeit dolls in claw machines

Hong Kong Customs has conducted a territory-wide operation to combat counterfeit dolls in claw machines.

Codenamed “Octopus”, the operation proceeded from June 5–13 and resulted in the seizure of about 2700 suspected counterfeit dolls and other relevant items with an estimated market value of about HK$300,000 (US$38,322).

Customs had earlier received information alleging that the presence of counterfeit dolls in claw-machines shops was widespread in the market. Officers later conducted patrols in different districts.

After further investigation with the assistance of a trademark owner, Customs officers raided six claw-machine shops in Chai Wan, Lam Tin, Mong Kok, Tuen Mun and Tin Shui Wai as well as a storage facility in San Po Kong. Some 2700 suspected counterfeit dolls and other suspected counterfeit goods, 15 claw machines and five token changing machines were seized.

During the operation, three men and three women were arrested, including three shop owners and three staff members, aged between 26 and 50.

The investigation is ongoing.

Divisional commander (IP general investigation) Peggy Tam told press that Customs would continue to step up inspection and enforcement to fight against the use of counterfeit goods for the purpose of trade. She reminded consumers to check with the trademark owners or their authorised agents if the authenticity of a product is in doubt.

She also reminded traders to be cautious and prudent in merchandising since the possession of counterfeit goods for any purpose of trade is a serious crime and offenders are liable to criminal sanctions.

Under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, any person who sells or possesses for the purpose of trade any goods with a forged trademark commits an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of HK$500,000 ($63,870) and imprisonment for five years.

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