CRIME

More students caught selling fake goods online

They allegedly sold sport shoes and watches at 30 to 60 per cent of the price for genuine items

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 June, 2013, 4:37am

There has been a threefold rise in the number of students arrested for selling fake goods over the internet this year, a senior customs official said yesterday.

Michael Kwan Yuk-kwan, head of customs' intellectual property investigation group, said 10 students had been arrested for selling counterfeit goods on the internet so far this year. Five of them were university students and the other five post-secondary students.

Three students were arrested in the same period last year.

Kwan said it was possible that some of the university students sold goods from computers in their dormitory.

Officers searched some student dormitories and seized computers but no fake goods were found.

The students were accused of selling counterfeit goods on the internet such as sport shoes and watches at 30 to 60 per cent of the retail price of the genuine articles.

Kwan said there was no evidence to suggest the students had worked together or that there was a syndicate behind them.

"They think they are invisible in the cyber world because they use fake identities to carry out this illegal business on the internet and no one can track them down," Kwan said.

The maximum penalty for the offence is five years' jail and a HK$500,000 fine, under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance. The 10 students were among 55 people arrested by customs for selling counterfeit goods on the internet in the first six months of the year. Fake goods worth over HK$900,000 were confiscated.

Customs arrested about 60 people and seized HK$1.07 million worth of fake products for the whole of 2012.

Kwan said customs found 59 cases involving the sale of counterfeit goods over the internet in the first six months of the year - a 150 per cent rise from the 23 cases in the same period last year.