Hong Kong cracks down on fake cosmetic therapy machines

Enforcement authorities in Hong Kong have seized six aesthetic devices from cosmetics clinics that are suspected of being counterfeits of machines made by UK manufacturer BTL Aesthetics.

The six machines – with an estimated market value of about HK$360,000 ($46,000) – were seized at four beauty parlours in the territory with five people arrested in connection with the case.

Acting on a tip-off that suspected counterfeit devices were being used by beauty parlours to provide beauty and slimming treatments for customers, Hong Kong Customs carried out an investigation. With the assistance of the trademark owner, customs officers took enforcement action and raided four beauty parlours in Mong Kok, Lai Chi Kok, Tsuen Wan and Shek Mun today.

“During the operation, five women aged between 32 and 49 were arrested for being suspected of contravening the Trade Descriptions Ordinance,” the agency said in a statement, noting that one of those detained is a shop owner and four are beauticians.

“An investigation is ongoing and the likelihood of further arrests is not ruled out,” it added. Under the Ordinance, any person who possesses for the purpose of trade 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.

The photo above shows the six suspected counterfeit beauty and slimming devices seized on the right and three genuine devices on the left. The EMSCulpt devices are claimed to tone the body and eliminate fat using “high-intensity electromagnetic technology.”

“Customs reminds traders to be cautious and prudent in merchandising since possession of counterfeit goods for any purpose of trade is a serious crime and offenders are liable to criminal sanctions,” said HK Customs.

“Consumers are also reminded to make purchases 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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