Customs officers arrested five people on Sunday during a raid for counterfeit goods in Kowloon’s Sham Shui Po and seized 18,000 items worth HK$11 million (US$1.4 million).

About 50 officers raided a showroom and two storages at a commercial building in Sham Shui Po and confiscated 18,000 items, including handbags, wallets and sports shoes, Apple Daily reported.

Officers arrested one man and four women on the spot, including a Hong Kong man and two Hong Kong women, who they said were the syndicate heads, as well as two foreign women who worked as salespersons. They were said to be former domestic workers but had overstayed in the city.

Customs said the quality of the fake goods was poor. They added that the syndicate sold the fake goods for between HK$50 and HK$1,300.

Customs officials spent two months investigating after they raided a number of stalls in Central on Hong Kong Island which sold fake handbags to domestic workers in November last year, Sing Tao Daily reported. The law enforcers believed a syndicate was involved.

It was understood that the syndicate printed product catalogs with a price list. Domestic workers could place their orders using the catalogs

The business had been in operation for three months and it was believed that a profit of about HK$1 million could be generated each month.