Another 47-year-old employee from Christian Zheng Sheng Association arrested over misleading trade descriptions

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10th July 2024 – (Hong Kong) Hong Kong’s Customs and Excise Department has detained a 47-year-old male staff member from a rehabilitation organisation, following the earlier arrest of a 66-year-old director for similar charges. The accused are linked to the Christian Zheng Sheng Association.

Dr. Rev. Siu Yu-fat, a senior figure at the organisation, was initially apprehended under allegations of violating the Trade Descriptions Ordinance by providing false and misleading information about the services offered. The details emerged that the organisation falsely claimed that pre-paid fees for training courses were refundable, a promise not upheld when the courses ceased to be offered. Furthermore, accusations surfaced that accommodation fees paid as deposits were promised to be refunded upon the completion of a course—another claim that was later contradicted.

The subsequent arrest of the 47-year-old employee came after further investigations which revealed that crucial information regarding the non-refundable nature of these deposits was withheld until after the discontinuation of the training services. The involved parties are now under conditional release pending ongoing investigations, with the possibility of additional arrests as the inquiry continues.

The Customs authorities have been keen to stress the gravity of such offences under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance. Any misleading statements or omissions in the course of business that could influence consumer decisions are deemed illegal. Penalties for such offences include hefty fines up to HK$500,000 and imprisonment for up to five years.

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