Counterfeit

$12.7M in Fake Designer Gear and Counterfeit Cialis Pills Seized at LA/Long Beach Seaport

U.S. Customs officials seized 57,607 counterfeit products that arrived at the LA/Long Beach Seaport in a containerized cargo shipment

Counterfeit goods laid out on a table, including a fake Louis Vuitton bag, Givenchy shirt, Cialis pills, Chanel sunglasses and more. The goods were seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
CBP

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers on Monday seized 57,607 counterfeit products that arrived at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport, in a containerized cargo shipment from China, CBP said in a statement.

The products, had they been real, would have had an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $12.7 million.

CBP
A fake Louis Vuitton bag seized from the LA/Long Beach seaport on June 21, 2021.

Among the seized items were "47,490 counterfeit Cialis pills and 10,117 pieces of wearing apparel and footwear in violation of the Christian Dior, Versace, Gucci, Givenchy, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Nike Air and Swoosh designs and registered and recorded trademarks," the statement said.

The CBP officers, assigned to the LA/Long Beach seaport, worked with team members from different specialized Centers of Excellence and Expertise within the CBP to seize the products. Those centers included Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising; Apparel, Footwear and Textiles; and Pharmaceuticals, Health and Chemicals.

CBP also coordinated with special agents from U.S. Homeland Security Investigations in the operation, the statement said.

"CBP along with our HSI and LAPD strategic partners form a united front against transnational criminal organizations who attempt to smuggle counterfeit goods that can threaten the health and safety of U.S. consumers, as well as the competitiveness of American businesses," said Carlos C. Martel, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles.

Once seized, all products were turned over to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Commercial Crimes Division, Illicit Pharmaceutical and Counterfeit Unit. That unit of LAPD will conduct further investigation.

CBP
These Nikes are counterfeits, seized by CBP in June 2021.

Partnerships between the LAPD, CBP and HSI, said Captain III Lillian Carranza, Commanding Officer of the LAPD's Commercial Crimes Division, allow the LAPD to dismantle organized crime by weakening supply networks.

"The primary goal of the LAPD's IPCU is to identify and disrupt the manufacture, sales and distribution of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and merchandise," she said.

Fake products are put onto "illegitimate websites and sold in underground outlets," CBP said, where "consumers are tricked into believing they are buying an original product at a significant discount."

Neon green pills sit scattered on a table, in front of four plastic bottles that read "Cialis." The pills are counterfeits seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
CBP
Fake Cialis pills seized at the LA/Long Beach seaport on June 21, 2021.

Nationwide in 2020, CBP said in a statement, officials "seized 26,503 shipments containing counterfeit goods that would have been worth nearly $1.3 billion had they been genuine."

According to CBP, consumers can take simple steps to protect themselves and their families from counterfeit goods:

  • Purchase goods directly from the trademark holder or from authorized retailers.
  • When shopping online, read seller reviews and check for a working U.S. phone number and address that can be used to contact the seller.
  • Review CBP’s E-Commerce Counterfeit Awareness Guide for Consumers.
  • Remember that if the price of a product seems too good to be true, it probably is.
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