Hong Kong woman arrested for selling bogus Olympic torches

Other News Materials 3 June 2008 15:53 (UTC +04:00)

A 33-year-old woman has been arrested for trying to sell counterfeit Beijing 2008 Olympic torches on an internet auction site, customs officials said Tuesday, reported dpa.

The woman was arrested with one of the home-made torches after undercover customs officers arranged to meet her at an underground train station in Hong Kong on Monday.

They then seized another four fake torches at her flat in the city's Sau Mau Ping district, according to a customs spokesman. Two torches were made of metal and the other two of cloth and cotton.

"Genuine Olympic torches would not be offered for sale," customs investigator Chiu Yuk-hung, who was involved in the operation, told government-run radio station RTHK.

Bids had been placed by buyers for the torches on the auction website, said Chiu, but he said people who placed bids "already knew they were fake but wanted them as souvenirs."

The woman has not yet been charged but is expected to face possible charges of copyright infringement through the use of the Beijing Olympics logos used on the fake torches.

Thousands of people waving Hong Kong and China flags lined the streets when the Olympic torch was taken on a 30-km relay through Hong Kong on June 1 as part of its controversial world tour.

Customs officers in Hong Kong, which will host the Olympic equestrian events, announced a major crackdown on fake Olympics merchandise in the city of 6.9 million earlier this year.