More than 39,000 counterfeit designer products arriving in two cargo shipments from China at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport complex were seized by customs agents, authorities said Thursday.
The cargo was seized on July 19 and July 30 in "independent smuggling attempts," said Jaime Ruiz of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
If genuine, the seized merchandise would have had a combined estimated manufacturer's suggested retail price of $53,745,802, Ruiz said.
CBP officers discovered sandals, handbags, sneakers, hats, wallets, backpacks, mobile phone cases and belts bearing numerous registered and recorded trademarks such as Gucci, Dior, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Yeezy, Versace, Fendi, Balenciaga, Burberry, Chrome Hearts, Nike, Air Jordan, and Ferragamo.
Photos: 39,000 Counterfeit Designer Products Seized at Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport
"The size of these fraudulent shipments clearly demonstrates the greed and risks transnational criminal organizations are willing to take in order to increase their illicit profits," said Carlos C. Martel, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles.
While products such as these historically have been sold on illegitimate websites and in underground outlets, the rise of e-commerce has offered a haven for criminals who are able to hide behind seemingly legitimate listings, Ruiz said.
The sale of counterfeit commodities multiplies the illegal profits of smugglers and traffickers who reinvest the proceeds from such sales into further criminal enterprises, Ruiz said.
"Illicit goods trafficked to American consumers by e-commerce platforms and online third-party marketplaces threaten public health and safety, as well as national security," said Donald R. Kusser, Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport Port Director.