Hong Kong Customs raided an upstairs showroom in the heart of the city’s prime retail precinct this week, seizing about HK$2 million worth of fake goods.
They arrested a 71-year-old man on site who was allegedly in charge of the counterfeit retailing business.
A Customs spokesperson said the showroom had been operating in “a low-profile mode” and mainly served foreign visitors to Hong Kong. Typically in these businesses, tourists are approached by individuals and invited to see luxury goods in hidden-away ‘stores’.
Customs had earlier discovered an upstairs showroom in Causeway Bay selling suspected counterfeit goods and after an investigation with the assistance of trademark owners, officers took enforcement action on Wednesday. After raiding the showroom they seized about 1700 items including handbags, belts, watches and sneakers.
“Famous brands were involved and the goods available for sale had a high degree of resemblance,” said the spokesperson.
Customs says it plans to step up investigations into the sale of counterfeit goods and enforcement of the law in coming weeks as Christmas approaches.
The spokesperson reminded traders to be “cautious and prudent” in merchandising since the sale of counterfeit goods is a serious crime and offenders are liable to criminal sanctions. 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 $500,000 and imprisonment for five years.