Crime

US Customs Seizes $10M in Counterfeit Jewelry

CrimeJul 10, 2024

US Customs Seizes $10M in Counterfeit Jewelry

Officers intercepted three packages within 24 hours containing fake goods claiming to be from various luxury brands.

U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection Paperwork
Had the packages contained genuine fine jewelry, they would have had a combined retail value of more than $10.1 million.
Louisville, Ky.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Port of Louisville seized three packages containing fake goods within the span of 24 hours last week. 

The packages were stopped for containing items that infringed on designers’ protected trademarks which had been recorded with CBP for border enforcement through the e-Recordation program.

The packages were handed over to Homeland Security Investigations for further analysis.

If the jewelry had been genuine, all three shipments would have had a combined retail value of more than $10.1 million.

The first package was halted on July 1, originating from China and heading to a residence in Brooklyn, New York.

It contained 1,466 pieces of jewelry bearing fake trademarks from Van Cleef & Arpels, Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Gucci, Tous, Dior, Prada, Versace, Tiffany & Co., Bulgari, Calvin Klein, Cartier, Chanel, Michael Kors, Carolina Herrera, Tory Burch, Rolex, Yves Saint Laurent, and Daniel Wellington.

The retail value of these items would have been over $5.1 million, if genuine.

On July 2, two additional packages were seized, also originating from China. However, they were heading to separate residential addresses in Miami, Florida.

The second shipment contained necklaces, bracelets, and earrings with fake trademarks from Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, while the third package contained counterfeit necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings from these brands.

Together, these two packages had a total of 921 pieces of counterfeit jewelry that would have a retail value of nearly $5 million if they were genuine.

 Related stories will be right here … 

“These large seizures illustrate the work our officers do every day to protect our country, its citizens, and the economy,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, director of Chicago Field Operations.

“Every day, CBP officers are seizing these fraudulent de minimis shipments sent by bad actors. Criminals are trying to exploit the mail environment by peddling their counterfeit products. Even though this package had a low declare value, they pose the same potential health, safety, and economic security risks as larger and more traditional containerized shipments.”

The three seized packages were uninsured and imported to Louisville under de minimis regulations, also known as “Section 321,” allowing shipments to pass through CBP free of duty and tax, by marking the merchandise as imported by one person on one day with an aggregated fair retail value in the country of shipment of $800 or less.

CBP estimates that nearly 90 percent of shipments coming into the U.S. are claiming the de minimis exception.

With the rise of e-commerce and small packages, CBP says “illegal actors are taking advantage of the unprecedented volume of e-commerce shipments entering the U.S. and the opacity of global supply chains to introduce illicit goods into the country.”

CBP has an educational initiative to raise consumer awareness on the consequences and dangers associated with purchasing counterfeit goods and encourages anyone with information about counterfeit merchandise illegally imported into the U.S. to submit an anonymous e-Allegation report.

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