Customs officers seize more than $700,000 of knockoff Gucci, Chanel, other designer brands
By Zoe Sottile, CNN
Customs officers in Virginia have confiscated more than $700,000 of designer brand counterfeits, including clothing, purses and shoes, in a single shipment.
Officers seized the counterfeit goods on March 16, according to a news release from US Customs and Border Protection.
Customs officers originally examined the shipment on February 3, according to the news release. The shipment originated in Seoul, South Korea, and was sent to an address in Chesapeake, Virginia.
The load had 68 items with designer brand trademarks, including iconic luxury brands like Burberry, Chanel, Christian Dior, Gucci, Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Yves Saint Laurent, according to the release.
But customs officers suspected the goods were counterfeit, and submitted documentation of the items to Customs trade experts specializing in apparel, footwear and textiles.
The experts confirmed the goods were fakes with “infringing trademarks and copyrights,” says the release.
The goods would have been worth $708,097 if they had been real, according to the release.
An investigation into the shipment is ongoing and no one has been criminally charged, US Customs and Border Protection reported.
“Unscrupulous vendors illegally profit on the backs, and feet, of American consumers by peddling phony and potentially perilous products as authentic goods,” said Mark Laria, Customs’ area port director for the area port of Norfolk-Newport News, in the release. “CBP strongly encourages consumers to protect their families by purchasing authentic goods from reputable vendors.”
During the fiscal year 2022, border protection officers and Homeland Security Investigations special agents seized more than 20,812 shipments containing nearly 25 million counterfeit goods, according to the release. Had they been authentic, the total value of the fake goods would have been more than $2.98 billion.
Homeland Security Investigations special agents arrested 255 individuals in 2022, obtained 192 indictments, and received 95 convictions related to intellectual property crimes.
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