U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials, working the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport, seized 16,340 counterfeit Gucci, Facebook and Instagram women's sleeping dresses that if deemed genuine would have an estimated suggested retail price of $5,455,214, a department spokesman said Friday.
CBP officers in coordination with Homeland Security Investigations special agents assigned to the Trade Enforcement Coordination Center took hold of the products on June 12, after they arrived from China in a shipment containing 329 bales of clothing, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection Branch Chief Jaime Ruiz.
In 189 of those bales, CBP officers discovered the counterfeit products hidden between generic versions of the sleeping dresses in an apparent smuggling attempt, Ruiz said.
Counterfeit sleeping garments may not comply with U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission sleepwear flammability standards, he said. According to the CPSC, children's sleepwear must be flame resistant and self-extinguish if a flame from a candle, match, lighter or a similar item causes it to catch fire. The rules cover all children's sleepwear above size 9 months and up to size 14.
"In addition to the health and safety risks, consumers should be aware that the money they pay for a counterfeit product often funds criminal enterprises," said Donald R. Kusser, CBP Port Director of the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport. "It is as simple as ensuring that the products are bought from legitimate sources."
Available on illegitimate websites and sold in underground outlets, counterfeit commodities multiply the illegal profits of smugglers and traffickers, Ruiz said. Consumers are tricked into believing they are buying an original product at a significant discount.