Customs agents at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport complex seized thousands of counterfeit Ferragamo designer shoes that — if genuine — would have had an estimated retail value of nearly $4.3 million, authorities said Wednesday.
The 7,800 pairs of shoes were seized in two separate shipments from China on July 20, said Jaime Ruiz of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
"These seizures demonstrate the high level of skill and vigilance of our officers in protecting the intellectual property rights of companies and individuals, as well as preventing the proliferation of counterfeit luxury footwear, potentially damaging our national economy,'' said Sergio Espinoza, CBP's acting port director of the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport.
About $1.35 billion worth of counterfeit goods originating overseas were seized by CBP in fiscal year 2015, Ruiz said. China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Romania, and Turkey were the top five countries of origination for counterfeit goods seized by CBP in fiscal year 2015.
"Available on illegitimate websites and sold in underground outlets, counterfeit high fashion commodities multiply the illegal profits of smugglers and traffickers," Ruiz said. "The public is misguided 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.''