Hong Kong Customs arrest ginseng retailer for misleading customers

Hong Kong Customs arrested a staff member of a Causeway Bay ginseng and dried seafood store on Tuesday after they were suspected of engaging in unfair trade practices.

Customs earlier received information from a member of the public alleging a salesman at a ginseng and dried seafood shop in Causeway Bay had misled a customer to believe the unit price of ginseng fruit was calculated per catty. After the ginseng fruit was ground, the salesman revealed that the goods were priced per mace.

After an investigation, Customs officers arrested a 29-year-old man who will be charged in relation to misleading customers in the sale of ginseng fruit, in contravention of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO).

Customs says investigations are continuing and the arrested man has been released on bail.

“Customs reminds traders to comply with the requirements of the TDO and consumers to purchase products from reputable shops,” said a spokesman.

“Consumers should also be cautious about the unit price and ask for more information, including the total price of the goods selected, before making a purchase decision.”

Under the TDO, any trader who engages in a commercial practice that omits or hides material information and as a result causes, or is likely to cause, an average consumer to make a transactional decision commits an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for five years.

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