In the first case of its kind, customs officers in Hong Kong confiscated 5,200 oranges suspected of using forged Sunkist labels after buyers at two Yuen Long stalls complained that the oranges tasted more sour than the real things, SCMP reports.
The operation was ousted when officers launched a two-week investigation into the matter and found that staff at the markets were sticking forged labels to the oranges. The owner of the two stalls along with three staff members were arrested. Some 112,000 fake labels were seized.
According to the commander of the Customs and Excise Department’s intellectual property general investigation division, the counterfeit oranges look similar to “real” ones aside from the labels that were printed on paper rather than plastic. Buyers also complained that the skin of the fake oranges were thicker than normal.
The suspected fake Sunkist oranges, imported from North Africa, cost around $1 HKD and were sold at $3 to $4 HKD each. The 5,200 oranges seized were estimated to have a market value of $90,000 HKD.
According to the Post, the last case of counterfeit fruit involved over 130 boxes of watermelons seized in 2011 that were presented as Malaysian-grown but were actually just common mainland melons.
[Image Credit: MadalenaPestana]