By  on September 2, 2009

WASHINGTON — Customs and Border Protection on Tuesday said it had seized more than 15,000 pairs of counterfeit Gucci shoes, worth an estimated $3.85 million at retail.

According to the agency, the shipment originated in China and was seized by Customs officers in Norfolk, Va., on Aug. 25. The shoes were shipped in 472 cartons.

The total domestic value of the shoes was $1.96 million, according to Customs.

“Gucci appreciates and supports the ongoing efforts of Customs and law enforcement to fight counterfeiting,” said a spokeswoman for Gucci. “These efforts are essential in protecting consumers from fraudulent and inferior product.”

“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 Mark Laria, area port director for Customs in Norfolk.

In 2008, the most recent full year for which data are available, footwear was the category seized most frequently for intellectual property violations. According to Customs, $102.3 million of fake shoes, 38 percent of the entire value of infringing goods, were seized last year.

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