OLD Tsang Hin-chi is now in big trouble for forgetting he was convicted for putting 'Goldlion Paris-France' on ties made closer to Guangdong province than Provence. But there is a way for manufacturers to put a big brand on their China-made products, and stay legal. Every so often we hear stories of manufacturers trying to get a town in China renamed 'Paris' or even 'Milan', which would solve all their problems. But now it's real. Lai See has got hold of a list of towns in China which have been highlighted as suitable for manufacturers because of their similarity to top Western brand names. Wanting to rip-off some famous training shoes? The town of Puma is waiting for your factory. Wanting to rip-off a famous dictionary? Longmen is waiting for you. Actually, there are at least 10 towns called Longmen in China, so take your pick. Japanese brand names are easy. There's a Muji, a Fuji, and almost every brand of hi-fi you'd like. Cameras are a bit trickier. There's a place called Hasalbag, but it's a remote dusty place to be making rip-off Hasselbad cameras. Art forgers should know that if they want to sign Dali's name on a canvas, they should set up operation in Dali, halfway between Foshan and Guangzhou. For that 'Made in Boston' tag try Bosten, near Urumqi. There's also some soundalikes for Western brandnames, such as Dier for Dior. And those pesky folks in the Customs and Excise cannot touch you. 'Oops! Pardon' THERE'S only one solution to this business of directors' criminal convictions leaking out of the cupboard - an amnesty. A couple of pundits were talking about it yesterday - after all, it worked in the New York ghettos to try to get people to hand in their weapons. In New York, they started a 'Guns for toys' campaign at Christmas, where people could hand in their bazookas, rocket launchers and the like and get a toy in return. Our exchange could offer a four-week period when directors could admit to any form of criminal conviction, and receive a free Goldion 'Made in France' tie, or a subscription to Ming Pao. Interesting to note that Chris Patten's getting interested - a factor naturally unrelated to Tsang Hin-chi's close links with China, of course. Also interesting to note that in the past week, since the nasty business with Win Win International, there has been a rush of directors resigning. Coincidence again, of course, and just to prove it is, we'll do a study in a month's time comparing the rate of resignations by company directors both before and after this business started to blow up. Licked? SO much for the Great British Tourism Drive. Eric Spain of Lantau rang the British Tourist Authority and asked for brochures. 'Certainly,' they said. 'Can you send us a stamp?' Maybe some patriotic Brit with their country's interests at heart should try donating $100 worth of stamps to the BTA. Indeed, if they are that skint perhaps the BTA people would appreciate someone taking them out for a square meal. Lost hoard THE Hong Kong Monetary Authority wasn't just talking about billion-dollar stuff such as the Exchange Fund yesterday - it also was talking about coins. At the end of last year, there were 3.7 billion coins in circulation in the territory - that's 616 coins per Hong Kong resident. On average, we've all got more than $550 in coins. We've each got 169 ten-cent coins, 120 twenty-cent coins, 78 fifty-cent coins, 105 $1 coins, 66 $2 coins, 32 $5 coins, and seven $10 coins. Plus we've got 39 coins which the HKMA describes as 'other' which is utterly mystifying. Where have they gone? Anyone carrying that amount of cash around would have more metal than a suit of armour. If they had dropped down behind sofas then there wouldn't be a sofa in the territory which could have its legs still planted on the floor. Certainly, there can't be a business melting them down. The HKMA sent 220 million coins with the Queen's head back to Britain for melting-down and only got $23 million for the scrap metal, so the metal in the average coin must be worth only about 10 per cent of its face value. Cross it out THE folks who are setting up yesterday's super-shredding service might be able to destroy paper records, but what about computer records? The prisons in the US are peppered with naughty folks who thought they'd erased data from a hard drive, only to have the FBI un-erase it. We hear of a feature found on all British army laptop computers, which perhaps civilian machines could copy: a large white cross on the case showing where a bullet should be fired through to really erase the hard disk.