Date
24 September 2017
There has been a significant rise in cases of students selling counterfeit goods through social platforms, says Louise Ho (inset). Photos: Apple Daily, Google Maps
There has been a significant rise in cases of students selling counterfeit goods through social platforms, says Louise Ho (inset). Photos: Apple Daily, Google Maps

Rising cases of teens selling fake goods online: customs

Hong Kong has seen an alarming rise in sale of counterfeit products online by teenagers, with social media platforms serving as the vehicles for such activities.

According to customs officials, some youngsters are peddling fake products online to make extra pocket money.

In one case, a 13-year-old Form Two student was found engaging in such practices, Apple Daily reported.

The Customs Department said it has detected 182 cases of fake goods sales online so far this year, which led to the arrest of 212 people.

It marks an increase from the 168 such cases and 186 arrests in the same period last year.

The department warned youngsters against online mis-selling, saying the students could end up with a criminal record that could ruin their education and career prospects.

Of the 182 cases detected by customs, 69 percent involved sale of counterfeit goods through social media platforms, a sharp rise from 31 percent a year ago.

Louise Ho, head of the intellectual property investigation bureau of the Customs and Excise Department, said there has been a significant rise in cases of students selling counterfeit goods through social platforms.

Customs officials have arrested 54 secondary school students in the first 11 months of this year, a sharp increase when compared with 18 such student arrests last year.

University student arrests were up 22 percent to 23.

Overall, there was an 181 percent jump in the number of arrestees below the age of 18.

A 13-year-old girl studying in Form Two was arrested this March for selling counterfeit soccer shorts. Customs officers seized 62 fake items, worth around HK$5,500, in her flat.

The girl was subsequently handed a care and protection order by a juvenile court.

In another case, two 16-year-old Form Four boys were arrested in day for selling fake sports apparel.

One boy was handed a fine HK$16,000, while the ordered to pay HK$8,000.

Some of the teenagers who have been selling counterfeit goods online come from decent family backgrounds, officials say. 

Meanwhile, the customs department has detected four cases of selling fake iPhone6S online and arrested four people aged 13 to 24.

The fake Apple products were being sold for around HK$1,000 each.

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BT/AC/RC

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