Dark Day for Counterfeit Sunglasses

Sante Alley sellers of shady sunglasses beware: the Feds are cutting your supply. Federal inspectors at Los Angeles International Airport seized a shipment from China that contained counterfeit sunglasses and related items valued at more than $234,000, officials reported today.

The May 19 seizure included 8,620 counterfeit Ed Hardy, Chanel, Prada, Ray-Ban and Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses; and 15,372 counterfeit Lacoste Alligator sunglass ornaments, said Cristina Gamez of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The "suggested retail price" of the items was collectively listed at $1.8 million, but their "value" was listed at $234,794, Gamez said.

"CBP is charged with enforcing trade laws and we continue to devote substantial resources to target, intercept, detain, seize and forfeit shipments of goods that violate these laws," said Kevin Weeks, CBP's director of field operations in Los Angeles.

In fiscal year 2008, federal agents nationwide seized more than $272 million worth of counterfeit items, with sunglasses and parts accounting for about 3 percent of the fakes.

Counterfeit sunglasses may not be impact resistant and may fail to provide UV protection, Gamez said.

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