Customs seizes fake goods destined for New Year fairs

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 February, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 February, 2007, 12:00am

HK$500,000 worth of fake festive goods and toys have been seized by customs officers ahead of the Lunar New Year, in raids on 12 wholesalers in Sham Shui Po during which 13 people were arrested.

The officers said the goods were destined for stallholders at Lunar New Year fairs across the city and have warned retailers to beware of fakes when stocking up.

More than 100 officers, accompanied by representatives of trademark owners Sanrio, Doraemon and Disney, descended on Fuk Wah Street yesterday at 11am.

Two truckloads of 60,000 suspected counterfeit products had been seized by last night in the operation, which was continuing, a department spokeswoman said.

During the raids, nine men and four women, aged 24 to 51, were arrested for counterfeiting goods. Ten of the suspects were store owners.

Festive fai chun, or spring couplets, brand-name lai see packets and Lunar New Year snack boxes with images of Sanrio's cartoon figure Hello Kitty were among the haul, along with Hello Kitty and Disney costumes, and stuffed dolls.

'The counterfeit goods from these wholesalers are aimed mostly at retailers running businesses in New Year markets,' said Samson Chiu Yuk-hung, customs divisional commander who led the raid.