WASHINGTON — U.S. Customs & Border Protection officials said Tuesday they have seized a combined $5.1 million worth of counterfeit merchandise in two separate operations in New Jersey and Los Angeles that snagged bogus watches, sunglasses and other consumer goods.
This story first appeared in the August 28, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
In Los Angeles, Customs officials seized 215 watches at Los Angeles International Airport bearing counterfeit Rolex, Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Omega registered trademarks. Authorities said the bogus watches were flown to LAX from China and seized on Aug. 8.
“This seizure of these trademarked watches is testament to our officers’ vigilance in protecting the intellectual property rights of manufacturers and retailers,” said Todd C. Owen, director of the Los Angeles field operations office for CBP.
CBP officers said they found the counterfeit watches after inspecting the shipment’s manifest, which identified the cargo as watches with a declared value of $173 and weight of 68 pounds. The agency said it seized $186 million in counterfeit watches and jewelry in fiscal year 2012.
A second, unrelated bust in New Jersey on July 22 turned up 70,000 counterfeit consumer products, ranging from sunglasses and razor blades to toys and batteries, the agency said. Officials said the counterfeit shipment was sent from China to the Port of Newark and was inspected under a targeting program through the Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center in Washington. The bust was coordinated between CBP, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the center.