Hong Kong customs net fake cosmetics, skincare products

Hong Kong Customs has clamped down on counterfeit cosmetics in a three-day operation that uncovered around HK$720,000-worth ($92,000) of suspect goods.

The territory-wide operation – codenamed Venus and assisted by trademark owners – uncovered around 13,000 pieces of suspected counterfeit cosmetics and skin care products from 15 retail shops and two storage units allegedly operated by a criminal syndicate involved in supplying the illicit goods. Twelve men and six women were arrested, including six shop owners and 12 salespersons.

The haul included counterfeit facial masks, eyebrow pencils, contour sticks, cleansing foam, sunscreen, make-up remover and face powder. Twelve men and six women were arrested, including six shop owners and 12 salespersons, aged between 23 and 40, and a 34-year-old male syndicate head.

“Investigation is ongoing, and all arrested persons have been released on bail pending further investigation,” said HK Customs in a statement. 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.

Divisional Commander (Intellectual Property General Investigation) of Customs, Peggy Tam, told traders to be cautious and prudent in handling merchandise since the sale of counterfeit goods is a serious crime and offenders are liable to criminal sanctions. She also appealed to consumers to procure goods at reputable shops and to check with the trademark owners or their authorised agents if the authenticity of a product is in doubt. 

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