LOS ANGELES, CA – U.S. customs officials seized two cargo ships loaded with nearly $ 54 million in counterfeit products at the Los Angeles / Long Beach Seaport, authorities announced Thursday.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized more than 39,000 counterfeit designer products in two shipments on July 19 and July 30, authorities said Thursday. The attack targeted “independent smuggling attempts,” said Jaime Ruiz of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Among the counterfeit products were sandals, handbags, sneakers, hats, wallets, backpacks, mobile phone bags and belts with many registered and registered trademarks such as Gucci, Dior, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Yeezy, Versace, Fendi, Balenciaga, Burberry, Chrome Hearts, Nike, Air Jordan and Ferragamo.
The goods could have fetched about $ 53,745,802 if it had been allowed to flood the market, according to Ruiz.
“The size of these fraudulent shipments clearly shows the greed and risks transnational criminal organizations are willing to take to increase their illegal profits,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles.
Traditionally sold on the black market through illegal websites and in underground stores, smugglers have found a refuge during the rise of e-commerce so they could hide behind seemingly legitimate listings, Ruiz said.
The sale of counterfeit goods multiplies illegal profits for smugglers and traders who reinvest the proceeds from such sales to additional criminal companies, Ruiz said.
“Illegal goods traded to U.S. consumers of e-commerce platforms and online third-party markets threaten public health and safety as well as national security,” said Donald R. Kusser, Los Angeles / Long Beach Seaport Port Director.
City News Service and Patch Staffer Paige Austin contributed to this report.