Hong Kong Customs & Excise Department
Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation
C&ED is dedicated to protecting Hong Kong against smuggling, drug trafficking, intellectual property right infringement, as well as responsible for consumer protection, revenue protection and upholding Hong Kong’s trading integrity. More importantly, to cope with Smart City development as announced in the 2018 Policy Address, Customs has been developing “Smart Customs” recently. One of C&ED’s major responsibilities is to supervise the Money Service Operator (“MSO”) (i.e. remittance agents and money changers) and ensure no unlicensed money service and licensed MSOs’ compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance (AMLO). Recently, there were some cases in relation to forged MSO license unveiled. The current version has watermark printings for authentication, these features can easily be copied. And C&ED always consumes a lot of time on conducting background check for routine inspection of MSOs in a designated district. C&ED has considered using existing anti-counterfeiting devices in the market, such as attaching anti-counterfeiting stickers and adding QR codes, but the chance of counterfeiting anti-counterfeiting stickers still exists, and the introduction of QR code may also cause security problems such as redirecting the public to fake MSO service website with phishing, directing users to a website that begins download process with malicious software and collecting personal data as run invisibly in the background. C&ED needs to enhance the authenticity of the MSO license and a more accurate way for the general public to identify the authenticity of the MSO licence. At the same time, customs officers can quickly obtain encrypted data for investigation purposes. In this project, we will develop a novel security solution for document protection that will apply advanced technologies, such as flexible diffractive nanostructures anti-counterfeit device, authentication QR code with encrypted confidential and public information, multilevel authentication system combining both optical and digital security to enhance the authenticity of licence for MSO and provide a secure means to verify the details of MSOs on site for general public and officers of C&ED. The solution consists of a transparent flexible diffractive nanostructures anti-counterfeit device overlapping on an authentication QR code image with encrypted confidential and public information. The flexible diffractive nanostructures anti-counterfeit device has complex and nanometer scale structure, which is difficult to be reproduced due to the high entry barrier. Furthermore, it provides unique angular multiplexing features for end-user to easily verify the document’s genuineness. The encrypted information in the QR code image carries some important data to provide a secure means for C&ED’s officer to fast retrieve the confidential data of each MSO on site, so that to save manpower and improve working efficiency. The public information in QR code is to verify the license’s source and content for end-user. The multilevel authentication device of MSO licence will bring benefits to the public through the application this project. More specifically, it helps: (1) the public to identity authenticity of the licence; (2) to identity the contents of the licence, such as name and address of licensee holder; (3) to provide quick access to encrypted information to customs officers for investigation. This multilevel authentication device will enhance C&ED’s capabilities in case investigation and crime detection to safeguard the public security of Hong Kong and uphold Hong Kong trading integrity. The developed technologies can be easily implemented in any other important documents where authenticity matters, also can protect credit cards, bank cards or any other important cards. The technologies can be employed for luxury brand protection to promote brand reliability and products authenticity. Furthermore, this project can explore business opportunities to local industry companies for large volume production.