Supporters of a business founded by a defendant in a national security law case continue to queue up outside multiple stores of the chain retailer, which was raided by 100 Customs officers earlier this week.
This came as Hong Kong customs seized HK$400,000 worth of mislabelled goods, including shower gel, detergents and bleaches, from AbouThai on Thursday. A 33-year-old male director responsible for the group’s operations had been arrested.
The case has led to accusations alleging custom officers’ action against the trader was a “repression,” as the chain was found by Mike Lam King-nam, one of the 47 suspects charged under the national security law over their involvement in an unofficial primary election last year.
But the department denied what it called “malicious claims,” saying it was standard practice.
Customs said the products did not carry the required bilingual warnings on safe use, consumption and disposal, a suspected contravention of the Consumer Goods Safety Regulation.
From Friday, there have been long queues outside AbouThai shops in a show of support, with some people feeling authorities had targeted the chain with political intent.
About 100 people lined up outside AbouThai’s Tsuen Wan and Admiralty outlets on Saturday around noon respectively, responding to calls to shop at the chain.
Some patrons said the chain should be responsible for negligence in labelling, but the customs operations must be carried out fairly.
In two separate Facebook
posts on Thursday night, AbouThai apologized for its failings and asked “those people” who had criticised the operation to stop slandering the department.