Huge increase in seizures of counterfeit products from the mainland

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 November, 2013, 8:19pm
UPDATED : Monday, 11 November, 2013, 8:21pm

Customs has seen a massive increase in seizures of counterfeit products from the mainland destined for consumers overseas.

Customs officers have so far this year intercepted 84,000 fake products, with an estimated value of HK$9 million. Most were found in the offices of local courier companies.

In one raid last week, some 9,800 counterfeits were seized from a warehouse in Kowloon Bay – more than the 6,700 counterfeit items being smuggled overseas from the mainland that customs seized in the whole of last year.

Lui Tze-cheuk, head of customs’ intellectual property intelligence and boundary investigation division, put the increase down to co-operation with the local logistics industry.

He said the counterfeits included designer handbags, wallets, sunglasses, electronic problems and clothes. They were destined for customers in the United States and European countries.

“Investigation indicated fraudulent online traders from the mainland smuggled the goods into Hong Kong and then tried to make use of local express courier services to use airmail to send the counterfeits to overseas consumers,” Lui said.

He believes most of the seized goods came from Guangdong. Customs officers have sought help from mainland colleagues to help find the source of the counterfeit goods.

In the latest case, a tip-off led officers to the Kowloon Bay warehouse on Thursday. Officers arrested the 57-year-old manager of a trading company and two female employees, aged 53 and 61.

“A preliminary investigation showed that the goods were intended for smuggling to Paraguay by air-courier service,” Lui said.

He said officers were still investigating and looking for the owners of the company.

Customs officers will step up their efforts against the smuggling of counterfeit goods as Christmas approaches.