Auction house convicted of applying and supplying antique coins with false trade description

     An auction house was convicted and fined $40,000 today (January 17) at the Eastern Magistrates' Courts for applying and supplying antique coins to which a false trade description had been applied for the purpose of trade, in contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO).

     Customs earlier received information alleging that 31 antique coins sold at auction by an auction house were suspected to be counterfeit coins.

     After investigation and with the assistance of a coin authentication company, Customs confirmed that those coins were not antique coins as declared by the auction house.

     Customs welcomes the sentence and reminds traders to comply with the requirements of the TDO. Consumers should also purchase products at reputable shops.

     Under the TDO, any person who in the course of any trade or business applies a false trade description to any goods, or supplies 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 violation of the TDO to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account ( or online form (

Ends/Wednesday, January 17, 2024
Issued at HKT 20:05