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Hong Kong Customs mounts enforcement action again regarding unfair trade practice case of selling training and consultation services on dating techniques
     ​Hong Kong Customs in April this year arrested a 32-year-old man suspected of engaging in unfair trade practices for making misleading omission and using aggressive commercial practices in the sale of training and consultation services on dating techniques, in contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO). After a follow-up investigation, Customs officers yesterday (June 23) mounted an enforcement action again, and arrested the man regarding another two similar cases.

     During the investigation into the case detected in April, Customs officers further received information from two victims alleging that the man was suspected of omitting material information in the sale of training and consultation services on dating techniques. After receiving the membership fees from the two victims, the man involved in the case used excuses that the first victim had violated the training regulations and the second victim needed to procure apparel necessary for the training, and demanded them to pay extra charges of $25,000 and $330,000 respectively. Otherwise, he would refuse to give lessons.

     Investigations into the two cases are ongoing and the arrested man has been released on bail pending further investigation.

     Customs reminds traders to comply with the requirements of the TDO. Consumers should also procure services at reputable traders and inquire about the service details before making a transactional decision.

     Under the TDO, any trader who engages in a commercial practice that omits or hides material information or provides material information in a manner that is unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely, and as a result causes, or is likely to cause, an average consumer to make a transactional decision, commits an offence of misleading omissions. 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/Friday, June 24, 2022
Issued at HKT 11:00
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