A total of 852 counterfeit children’s items of clothing and swimwear depicting famous British cartoon character Peppa Pig were seized by customs officers from four clothing shops near Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro on Monday.
Seven suspects were taken in for questioning.
The city’s latest infringement of intellectual property rights case was announced during a press conference held at the Macau Customs Service headquarters in Rua de São Tiago da Barra on Thursday.
According to Cheang Wa Kam, chief operations officer of the inspection office of the Customs Service, the seven suspects work as sales assistants in the four shops, comprising two males and five females. Two of the women are non-resident workers, while the remainder are locals. Their ages range from 27 to 65.
Cheang said that among the seven sales staff, three are in charge of the four shops and two of the shops are owned by the same person. Cheang added that the shops have been in business for four to five years, and that they only started selling the bogus brand clothes around six months ago.
The Customs Service’s head of the inspection office, U Iek Chun, said at the press conference that after the Customs Service had recently received a tipoff, customs officers started to narrow down their inspections to several shops in the area, and after the goods had been confirmed by representatives of the genuine brand as fakes, the customs officers raided the four shops and took the seven suspects in for questioning.
Details of the person who tipped off the Customs Service were not revealed due to privacy protection rules.
According to U, a total of 852 items of clothing were confiscated, consisting of Peppa Pig children’s clothes and swimwear being sold from 25 patacas to 70 patacas per item in the four shops. U said that the products were of poor quality. U said that the suspects claimed that the goods were imported from various mainland cities, such as Guangzhou, where the suspects bought them for 10 yuan to 30 yuan each from wholesalers.
U added that the original products would have been worth 70,000 patacas in total.
The Customs Service has transferred the suspects to the Public Prosecution Office (MP). According to Article 292 of the Industrial Property Code Decree-Law No 97/99/M, the suspects face up to six months in jail.
Responding to a reporter’s question as to whether there have been more cases concerning the suspected infringement of intellectual property rights this year, Cheang said that the number of reported cases has decreased so far this year. According to the Macau Post Daily, Cheang attributed the decline in reported cases to the Customs Service’s property protection awareness campaigns.