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Hong Kong Customs combats counterfeit medicines
     Hong Kong Customs conducted an anti-counterfeit medicines operation on September 5 and 6 in Tsing Yi, Kwai Chung, Hung Hom and Wong Tai Sin and smashed a syndicate suspected of storing and supplying counterfeit medicines and controlled medicines. In the operation, 14 persons were arrested and about 2 700 pills of suspected counterfeit medicines and 92 000 pills of suspected controlled medicines with an estimated market value of about $2.05 million were seized.

     Customs officers arrested a 59-year-old man on September 5 who was suspected of supplying counterfeit medicines to drug stores, and seized about 94 000 pills of suspected counterfeit medicines and controlled medicines in his premises in Tsing Yi. A 49-year-old woman in the premises was also arrested.

     In the operation, Customs officers also raided seven drug stores for selling or possessing for sale suspected counterfeit medicines, and arrested 12 men aged between 28 and 75. The arrested persons have been released on bail pending further investigations.

     Customs' Divisional Commander (Intellectual Property Transnational Investigation), Mr Chow Wai-Tong, said at a press conference today (September 7) that Customs will continue to give priority to combating counterfeit medicines with stringent enforcement. It will also continue to co-operate closely with relevant government departments and organisations in keeping close track of the market. Customs reminds traders that selling counterfeit medicines is a serious crime and offenders are liable to criminal sanctions.

     Under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, any person who sells or possesses for sale any goods with a forged trademark commits an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for five years.

     Under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance, any person who possesses any poison included in Part 1 of the Poisons List other than in accordance with provisions commits an offence. Upon conviction, offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for two years.

     Members of the public may report any suspected sale of counterfeit medicines activities to the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.
Ends/Thursday, September 7, 2017
Issued at HKT 17:50
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