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Big data helps detect fake goods being sold online in Hong Kong

Customs officials are using big data to help detect fake goods being sold online in Hong Kong.

During a 12-day operation codenamed Eagle Web which ended yesterday, Hong Kong Customs officers seized 236 items of suspected counterfeit clothing, shoes and handbags with an estimated market value of about $110,000.

The goods were all being sold by shops using promotions on internet platforms, however Customs officials did not disclose which platforms.

“Through detecting and analysing internet infringing activities using the big data analytics system, Customs discovered there are physical shops doing promotion through popular internet platforms,” said a Customs spokesperson.

“They claimed Japanese and Korean fashions were available for sale but in fact the sale products were mingled with counterfeit goods. Some shops even alleged that their goods were sourced overseas by the shop owners in person in order to gain the customers’ trust.”

Six shops in Tsim Sha Tsui, Mong Kok and Kwai Chung were raided during Eagle Web and the goods pictured were subsequently seized.

Seven people were arrested, including four shop owners and three salespeople. They were aged between 23 and 64.

Investigations are continuing into fake goods being sold online in Hong Kong.

Those arrested face imprisonment for up to five years or fines of up to HK$500,000 if convicted.

Under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, any person who sells or possesses for sale any goods with a forged trademark commits an offence.

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