False auction reports clarified

January 13, 2022

Customs clarified again today that it has never arranged a public auction by means of a website or a social media platform to sell confiscated items and reminded the public to be alert and avoid being scammed.


The department noticed that five websites registered in the US, Singapore and Korea falsely claimed that Customs was making arrangements for selling confiscated items by means of public auction.


Customs officers found that similar content was published by lawbreakers on newly opened websites and social media platform pages.


People are urged to stay alert since similar websites and social media platform pages will probably emerge again in the future. 


The department also pointed out the five websites conveyed false information that conspired to mislead members of the public.


It suspects intellectual property right infringement, noting that there may be offences under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance and Copyright Ordinance.


Customs has already requested the social media platform's operator to remove the hyperlink as soon as possible and it will also contact INTERPOL for follow-up action.


Confiscated items will be handled strictly in accordance with established guidelines upon the completion of legal procedures, and those suitable for placing on public auction will be co-ordinated and handled exclusively by the relevant government department in Hong Kong, it stressed.


Customs never works with any external individuals or bodies to hold a public auction.


Call 2545 6182 or email crimereport@customs.gov.hk to report suspected unfair trade practices or infringing activities.

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