The Customs Department officers arrested seven people selling counterfeit products to domestic helpers. Photo: Google Map

Customs officers busted a counterfeit ring, arrested seven people and confiscated 3,000 items valued at around HK$230,000 (US$29,600) after a raid on six places in Central, Hong Kong media reported.

Seven people, from South Asia and the Philippines were arrested in the raid on Sunday over their alleged roles in stores selling counterfeit goods such as sneakers, backpacks to handbags and watches to mostly domestic workers, Sing Pao reported. The suspects were aged between 33 and 48.

Officers from the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department busted three shops in commercial buildings and three hawker stalls, Sing Pao reported.

Three of the seven suspects were accused of being in charge of the counterfeit ring, while the remaining four were allegedly hawkers and a salesperson, Ta Kung and Sing Pao reported.

Closed-circuit television at the entrance of each shop ensured only non-local customers, mainly domestic workers could enter. The shops only opened during weekends and public holidays, Ta Kung Pao reported.

The shopkeepers promoted their products on social media, selling low-quality counterfeit products, usually made in China, at a 80% to 75% discount on the price of genuine goods.

It was the third time customs officers busted pirated product shops in Central and Sheung Wan district this year, compared with an average of two cases annually, Ta Kung Pao said. The maximum penalty for selling counterfeit products is a fine of HK$500,000 and a five-year jail sentence.

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