HONG KONG, June 14 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong customs said Thursday that it is undertaking a special anti-infringement enforcement operation anticipating that the 2018 FIFA World Cup matches would provide opportunities for criminals to develop infringement business.
The special operation, codenamed "Goalkeeper" and started on April 30, is focusing on infringing items that may be trafficked through passenger and cargo channels at the airport, seaport, land boundary and railway control points on the eve of the matches.
Until Wednesday about 259,000 pieces of suspected infringing items valued at about 15.3 million Hong Kong dollars (about 1.95 million U.S. dollars) have been seized in 21 cases with five arrests also made, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government's Customs and Excise Department said in a press release.
Suspected infringing items seized so far include about 180,000 pieces of apparel and accessories, 50,000 pairs of shoes and 29,000 bags.
The apparel seized includes some 57,000 pieces of suspected counterfeit jerseys, among which 50,000 pieces bear suspected forged FIFA trademarks.
The items were seized from 12 seaborne containers, four goods vehicles and a batch of air parcels.
The press release said the operation is ongoing, and Hong Kong customs will step up mobilization for stringent enforcement actions especially on the eve of and during mega international sport events.
Under the HKSAR's Trade Descriptions Ordinance, any person who imports or exports any goods to which a forged trade mark is applied commits an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of 500,000 Hong Kong dollars (about 63,700 U.S. dollars) and imprisonment for five years.