Four arrested at fake name suppliers of 6.7m masksLocal | 2 Jul 2020 9:31 pm
Four suspects have been arrested for selling masks under a fake brandname, after a customs investigation revealed that 6.7 million surgical masks procured by the government were falsely labelled, RTHK reports.
The batches bought by the Government Logistics Department showed the brand name “Medicom.'' which manufactures personal protective equipment worldwide.
Officers say the fake trademark name was used to mislead the public.
The product’s packaging also said the masks were produced by a mainland manufacturer – but the firm told customs they had not produced these masks.
After customs confirmed that the masks bore false trade descriptions, they raided two trading companies in Kwun Tong and Hung Hom, which were involved in the supply of the masks.
Four people aged between 36 and 44 were arrested.
Mak Yuk-kam, customs' head of trade controls, said 3.1 million of the masks had already been distributed to eleven government departments, including the disciplined services, the Social Welfare Department and the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.
He said the government is now trying to retrieve some of these masks.
Mak said while the masks passed local safety tests, the material used for the nose piece and the colour of the outer fabric was different to those produced by the original manufacturer.
He said their spot checks have not found any retailers selling these masks, and they've been carrying out regular checks on personal protective equipment sold in the markets.
Asked whether any officials from the Government Logistics Department should be held accountable for the incident or whether the incident has revealed problems with its procurement mechanism, Mak said that was outside the ambit of the Customs and Excise Department.-Photo: RTHK