Los Angeles–U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers assigned to Cargo Operations at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in coordination with the Import Specialist assigned to the impacted Centers, seized 5,300 counterfeit products. If genuine, the seized merchandise would have had an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $3,475,000.
Among the seized products were 1,242 counterfeit Gucci belts, 678 pairs of counterfeit Nike shoes, 531 counterfeit Louis Vuitton handbags, 500 counterfeit Samsung adaptors, 502 counterfeit Gucci fanny packs, 230 counterfeit Hermes handbags, 192 counterfeit Casio Shock watches, 144 counterfeit Ferragamo belts, 100 counterfeit Versace belts, and 119 counterfeit Fendi shorts.
The merchandise arrived at LAX via air cargo from Hong Kong. The quantity and value of counterfeit merchandise seized is a clear indication of the profits that are involved in the illegal trade of luxury goods.
Available on illegitimate websites and sold in underground outlets, counterfeit high fashion commodities multiply the illegal profits of smugglers and traffickers. Consumers are tricked into believing they are buying an original product at a significant discount, and the money they spend on these types of goods is often used in other forms of criminal enterprises.
In fiscal year (FY) 2018, CBP seized 33,810 shipments containing goods that violated intellectual property rights. The total estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of the seized goods, had they been genuine, increased to nearly $1.4 billion from over $1.2 billion in FY 2017.
Wearing apparel and accessories once again topped the list for number of seizures with 6,098, representing 18 percent of all seizures. Watches and jewelry continued as the top product seized by total MSRP value with seizures valued at over $618 million, representing 44 percent of the total. Handbags and wallets were second with seizures estimated to be valued at more than $226 million.