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Hong Kong Customs arrests seven directors and sole proprietors of restaurants suspected of supplying food with false trade descriptions
     Hong Kong Customs earlier mounted a territory-wide operation against restaurants supplying food with false trade descriptions and arrested seven persons in different districts for suspected contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO), including five directors and two sole proprietors of the restaurants involved.

     Customs earlier conducted spot checks and test purchases at various restaurants in the territory. During the operation, Customs officers test-purchased dishes claimed as "grouper" and "abalone" and sent samples to the Government Laboratory for examination.

     Examination results confirmed that the fourteen dishes claimed as "grouper" and six dishes claimed as "abalone" test-purchased at seven restaurants were catfish and squid respectively, different from what had been declared.

     After an investigation, Customs took enforcement action on March 27 and arrested six men and one woman, aged between 47 and 62, at the seven restaurants located in Sheung Shui, Tai Po, Kwai Chung, Yau Ma Tei, To Kwa Wan, Wan Chai and Quarry Bay. They are the directors or sole proprietors of the restaurants concerned.

     Investigations of all cases are ongoing.

     Customs reminds traders to comply with the requirements of the TDO and consumers to procure products at reputable restaurants.

     Under the TDO, any person who supplies goods with a false trade description in the course of trade or business, or is in possession of any goods for sale with a false trade description, commits an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for five years.

     Members of the public may report any suspected violations of the TDO to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (crimereport@customs.gov.hk).
Ends/Monday, March 30, 2020
Issued at HKT 18:45
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