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Hong Kong customs officers seize HK$67 million in bogus designer goods in biggest haul in 2 years

Hong Kong customs officials have impounded more than HK$67 million (US$8.6 million) worth of fake designer goods and arrested three people as part of a 19-day crackdown on counterfeiting.

The items, displayed on Wednesday, were imitations of products from top labels such as Burberry, Chanel, Christian Dior, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Nike, Adidas, Apple iPhone, Samsung, Rolex and Ray-Ban.

Assistant Superintendent Tang Wai-hang of the intellectual property investigation bureau said it was the “biggest seizure of fake brand-name products in terms of value” made in the city in the past two years.

The impounded items included about 8,000 fake mobile phones labelled with names such as Apple and Samsung, worth an estimated HK$19 million.

Fake sports kit seized by customs officials as part of Operation Tracer, a crackdown on counterfeiters. Photo: Sam Tsang

Customs officers also discovered about 15,000 pairs of sports shoes with forged trademarks worth about HK$14 million.

Tang said items seized in the operation, code-named “Tracer” and which ran between October 16 and November 3, also included handbags, clothes, sunglasses and watches.

He added it was the sixth Tracer operation in two years aimed at combating the trade of knock-off goods.

Most of the 77,000 seized items were destined for countries such as Senegal in West Africa, Mexico, the United States, the Netherlands, Iraq, United Arab Emirates and Indonesia, the Customs and Excise Department said.

Tang said about 62,000 items were seized at the sorting centres of logistics companies in Kwai Chung, Lau Fau Shan, Yuen Long, Tsuen Wan, Tsing Yi and Tuen Mun.

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He added the counterfeit goods were smuggled into the city from mainland China and elsewhere by air, land and sea and most of them were for re-export.

Some cargo imported to Hong Kong using different modes of transport is taken to logistics companies for processing, temporary storage, city delivery or to make arrangements for re-export.

Another 15,000 seized items were found hidden in seven containers shipped into the city from the port of Nansha in Guangzhou, Senior Inspector Priscilla Ngai Pak-hei of customs’ ports and maritime command said.

She added the goods, which involved the counterfeiting of about 40 well-known brand names, were hidden among household products and other clothing.

Customs officers also carried out two controlled-delivery operations and shut down an online shop operating out of Wong Chuk Hang and an upstairs retail shop in Kwun Tong.

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Officials arrested two women aged 32 and 33 in the Wong Chuk Hang raid on October 27 and seized more than 400 suspected fake brand-name products such as handbags and clothing.

They arrested a 35-year-old man and impounded hundreds of items such as fake brand-name handbags, as well as cosmetic and skin care products with forged trademarks, in the Kwun Tong unit three days later.

The three were later released on bail and the investigations continue.

Possession of goods with forged trademarks for sale or for the purpose of trade is punishable by up to five years in jail and a HK$500,000 fine.

Tang said customs would continue to carry out enforcement operations and tackle the importation of counterfeit goods at the source.



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