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Customs seize 15,000kg of fake rice from company that supplied to almost 100 restaurants in Hong Kong
Custom officers have seized 15,000kg of counterfeit rice from a company that supplied almost 100 restaurants across Hong Kong.
Officers raided a factory in San Po Kong in Kowloon on Friday where they arrested a director of the company on suspicion of violating the Trades Description Ordinance. They later arrested a second director in relation to the case. Some 600 sacks of counterfeit white rice, along with six tonnes of lower-quality rice and 1.6 tonnes of real, branded rice were seized in a 4,000 sq ft hidden compartment.
Officers also found 7,000 fake rice sacks, and estimated the stash was worth HK$178,000, the Customs and Excise Department said. “We found that the supplier would generally mix 10 per cent of real rice with 90 per cent of low-quality rice to pass off as real goods,” said Guy Fong Wing-kai, head of customs’ Intellectual Property Investigation (Operations) Group.
The lower-quality rice, imported from Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, was still edible and would not cause any harm to human health, but the taste and texture were inferior, he said. Such rice was generally sold for half the price of premium brands. “By mixing in the real and lower-quality rice together, the supplier could earn a profit of HK$100 per bag,” Fong said. The fake rice, which was mixed, packaged and sealed at the factory, imitated four established Thai brands: Chaitip, Golden Phoenix, Golden Vital King and Kim Kia Ta.
According to initial investigations, the supplier had been carrying out the covert operations for at least three months. Receipts found at the scene showed that supplier was of a “considerable scale” and worked with close to 100 restaurants and cha chaan tengs, also known as local diners.
Authorities do not have any figures on how much of the counterfeit rice had already been sold on the market. Fong said the seizure was one of the largest in recent years. The last time they had seized such a large batch was 5,000kg of counterfeit rice in 2014.
According to official statistics, Hong Kong imported 313,500 tonnes of rice last year, 65.9 per cent of which was from Thailand. The maximum penalty for violating the Trades Description Ordinance is five years of imprisonment and a fine of HK$500,000.
Source: star2/Ming Pao
Japanese singer-actor Hideki Saijo passed away in a hospital in Yokohama, Japan on May 16 at 11.53pm. The cause of death was acute heart failure. He was 63. According to his agency, the singer was hospitalised on April 25 after he fell unconscious when he was in the company of his family members. The J-pop icon, whose birth name is Tatsuo Kimoto, was born in Hiroshima, Japan on April 13, 1955.
He made his debut in 1972 when he was 16 and became a pin-up star in Japan and most of Asia with the hit Young Man, the Japanese version of Village People’s 1978 disco song Y.M.C.A. Unlike the original camp version, the Japanese hit was actually intended to inspire young men. Another of his popular cover song was Spanish singer Enrique Iglesias’ 1999 Latin dance pop hit Bailamos (Let’s Dance). Together with fellow Japanese singers Hiromi Go and Goro Noguchi, Saijo was dubbed Shin Gosanke (The New Select Three). Saijo was close friends to Asia’s biggest stars such as Leslie Cheung and Anita Mui, both of whom died in 2003.
Apart from a successful singing career, Saijo also dabbled in acting starring in films like Ai To Makoto (Love And Sincerity) and dramas like Terauchi Kantaro Ikka (Triple Generation Family), and took part in various television shows ranging from gardening to cooking. He was a regular gym-goer and enjoyed saunas and led an active lifestyle. Unfortunately, his health took a turn for the worse after he suffered two brain strokes, first in June 2003 when he was 48, and the second stroke hit eight years later in December 2011. His speech was slurred and the right side of his body was paralysed, but he continued to work hard on rehabilitation and continued to perform on stage. Last year, he released a DVD and staged his Hideki Saijo 45th Anniversary Concert 2016 with shows in Osaka, Tokyo and Kanagawa to commemorate his years in showbiz.
He got married to Miki Makihara in 2001, and they have one daughter and two sons. His family will be conducting a memorial in Tokyo on May 25, and his funeral will be held on May 26.
Five-month-old twins left unattended in Hong Kong village house, prompting police search for parents
Hong Kong police are searching for the parents of a pair of five-month-old twins after the boys were found unattended in a village house.
Police received a call from the infants’ 50-year-old grandmother shortly before 11am on Tuesday. Emergency personnel were sent to the house in Tung Chan Wai on the San Tin section of Castle Peak Road near Lok Ma Chau border control point. “The grandmother went to visit the babies and found the pair unattended in the house,” a police spokesman said.
No injuries were found on the boys and they were taken to North District Hospital in Sheung Shui for a check-up. The spokesman said police were treating the case as cruelty to a child. No one had been arrested.
In Hong Kong, ill-treatment or neglect of a child carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail. In March, two women were arrested for suspected child neglect after leaving their children – a one-year-old boy and a five-year-old girl – unattended in their village home in Fanling. The case came to light when the girl became hungry and asked a neighbour for food. The two children were unhurt.
Chungking Mansions raids: HK$1 million in cannabis resin found hidden in 40 boxes of biscuits from India
Investigators believed the HK$1 million (US$127,400) haul was intended for local consumption. The resin was among HK$1.34 million (US$170,000) worth of illegal drugs seized by police in two separate raids on the same building – Chungking Mansions in Tsim Sha Tsui. Three men from India were arrested in two operations mounted by officers from Yau Tsim police district’s special duties squads over a period of 12 hours.
The cannabis resin was confiscated from a subdivided flat in Chungking Mansions on Nathan Road shortly before noon on Monday. Two men, aged 37 and 38, were arrested inside the flat. The pair have been in Hong Kong for several years. “There were about 400 boxes of Indian biscuits inside the flat. Cannabis resin was hidden in 40,” a police source said on Tuesday. “The drugs were found underneath a layer of biscuits.” He said the flat was suspected to have been used to store the contraband.
Police were still searching for other suspects in connection with the case and officers were trying to ascertain when the shipment arrived in Hong Kong. Soon after Monday midnight, a tip-off led police to the arrest of another man, aged 25, and the seizure of illegal drugs with an estimated street value of HK$340,000 from a room in a guest house in the same building. Police said the drugs, including 303 grams of suspected cocaine and 77 grams of suspected ketamine, were seized along with an electronic scale.
Three schoolgirls were arrested in Hong Kong on Tuesday for their suspected involvement in the theft of HK$5 million worth of diamond jewelry from a 39-year-old woman.
The arrests came after the victim, who works in an investment bank, filed a police report Monday night, saying that two diamond necklaces and one diamond bracelet that were supposed to be in her handbag had gone missing. After making inquiries, the police arrested a 10-year-old girl and two of her school friends, both 12, in connection with the case. All the three were charged with theft.
According to reports, the 39-year-old woman had in January moved into the home of a friend, a divorced man working as a hair stylist, after the woman had fought with her husband. The man’s 10-year-old daughter, however, did not like the guest and has had a tense relationship with the woman, with quarrels taking place from time to time at the apartment in Lower Wong Tai Sin (II) Estate. The theft of the jewelry came against this backdrop. When questioned by police about whereabouts of the missing pieces of jewelry, the teen admitted to stealing the items and said she had thrown them away somewhere in the street. But she later changed her story, admitting that she had given the stolen jewelry to her school friends, according to hk01.com.
Police officers searched the home of the 12-year-old girl who was first arrested, but are yet to recover the stolen items. The 10-year-old girl and one of the friends have been placed under detention after the arrests, while the third suspect was granted bail and asked to report to police in early May. The crime squad of Wong Tai Sin Police District is investigating the case and still searching for the missing jewelry.