A Hong Kong repair shop accused of using counterfeit parts to fix broken devices such as Apple iPhones for international clients has had HK$940,000 (US$120,000) worth of fake goods seized in a raid, customs officials said on Wednesday.
The director and manager of a local company running the operation were arrested around lunchtime on Tuesday, when customs officers raided an industrial unit in Tuen Mun, which was used as a workshop and warehouse.
The mobile phones that were being serviced with knock-off parts were mainly posted via airmail from locations including Australia, the United States and United Kingdom.
Officers found about 100 damaged mobile phones suspected to have been sent into the city from its overseas clients for repair.
Inside the 5,000 sq ft unit, about 3,900 counterfeit phones and parts bearing the brands of Apple iPhone and Samsung were also confiscated, along with some machinery. The parts included phone screens and enclosures.
The company hired three workers to carry out the repairs, but the local men were not arrested in the operation.
Customs officers launched an investigation into the workshop after receiving a complaint from a trademark owner about a month ago.
Assistant Superintendent Szeto Chi-fai, commander of customs’ intellectual property transnational investigation division, said their inquiries showed the company used its website and social media platforms to promote its business and contact its clients.
“To avoid our detection, they mainly took orders from clients from overseas such as Australia, the United States and United Kingdom,” he said.
He said an initial investigation showed clients included second-hand phone dealers from overseas and they were charged about one third of the sum imposed by authorised dealers.
The assistant superintendent said the repair work included the replacement of cracked phone screens and damaged enclosures.
He said the workshop had been in operation for about a month, adding that they were still investigating the source of the fake goods.
Two male suspects aged 24 and 47 have been released on bail pending further investigation.
In Hong Kong, the maximum penalty for selling counterfeit goods or possessing them for sale is five years in jail and a HK$500,000 fine.
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This article Apple iPhone and Samsung fakes among HK$1 million counterfeit haul seized in raid on Hong Kong repair shop, which also served clients in United States, United Kingdom and Australia first appeared on South China Morning Post