Hong Kong probes arrests ofGerman trade show attendees

21st September 2004, Comments 0 comments

21 September 2004 , HONG KONG - The Hong Kong government was Tuesday investigating complaints over the arrest of three Hong Kong businessmen at an international trade fair in Germany. The three men were allegedly taken away by force by customs officers at the International Shoe Fair in Dusseldorf last week after being accused of infringing the copyright of German sportswear company Puma. Customs agents also confiscated merchandise they claimed breached Puma's copyright. One of the men, Michael Ho, was all

21 September 2004  

HONG KONG - The Hong Kong government was Tuesday investigating complaints over the arrest of three Hong Kong businessmen at an international trade fair in Germany.

The three men were allegedly taken away by force by customs officers at the International Shoe Fair in Dusseldorf last week after being accused of infringing the copyright of German sportswear company Puma. Customs agents also confiscated merchandise they claimed breached Puma's copyright.

One of the men, Michael Ho, was allegedly handcuffed and wrestled to the ground in the incident before being arrested and later released on bail of EUR 450.

The Hong Kong government launched an investigation into the incident after pictures of the fracas involving Ho were published Monday in a Chinese-language newspaper in Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council and a delegate to China's National People's Congress have also expressed concern over the arrest and the behaviour of the customs officers.

A Hong Kong government spokesman told the English-language Standard newspaper it was "very concerned" about the incident.

"As soon as we learned of the reports on Sunday, we communicated with the Chinese Embassy in Bonn to learn more about the case and see if assistance could be rendered," the spokesman said.

A statement from the Hong Kong Shoe Merchants Association published in the South China Morning Post said: "The lawful interests of exhibitors from Hong Kong should be given due respect and protection.

"The rude behaviour of the local law enforcement officials, as shown in the press photos, was shocking."

The German Consulate in Hong Kong told the same newspaper it would not investigate the case and declined to comment on it.

The International Shoe Fair in Dusseldorf ran from 13 to 16 September, attracting more than 1,600 exhibitors from 53 countries and an estimated 42,000 trade visitors.

DPA

Subject: German news

 

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