Crime

Customs Seizes $4.4M Worth of Counterfeit Jewelry

CrimeApr 12, 2023

Customs Seizes $4.4M Worth of Counterfeit Jewelry

CBP officers in Louisville, Kentucky, uncovered fake Tiffany & Co., Van Cleef & Arpels, and Chanel jewelry.

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Louisville, Kentucky, uncovered shipments containing more than 2,700 pieces of counterfeit jewelry.
Louisville, Ky.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Louisville, Kentucky, uncovered 2,760 pieces of counterfeit jewelry in a 24-hour period, a haul that would be worth more than $4.4 million if genuine.

On April 3, officers seized two shipments originating from Hong Kong and heading to two different recipients in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

One contained 400 bracelets while the second shipment had 993 jewelry sets, all bearing “suspect” Van Cleef & Arpels trademarks, said CBP.

The officers shared documentation and photographs with its trade experts at the Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising Center of Excellence and Expertise (CEE), who determined the jewelry was fake.

If genuine, the pieces would have been worth $3.7 million.

On April 4, another shipment was halted, this time originating in Hong Kong and heading to a residence in Cleveland, Ohio.

Inside the parcel, officers found 1,367 counterfeit pendants with “suspect” marks from Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Fendi, Yves Saint Laurent, Tiffany & Co., Versace, Givenchy, Dolce & Gabbana, and MCM. 

There were also jewels with “suspect” New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers marks.

CEE experts once again found the items were not authentic. If real, the value would total more than $710,000.

 Related stories will be right here … 

All three of the packages were given to Homeland Security Investigations, and an investigation is ongoing, said CBP.

In a statement, Louisville Port Director Thomas Mahn highlighted the importance of protecting intellectual property to the U.S. economy.

“No one buys a luxury brand piece of jewelry expecting it to fail or fall apart,” he said. “As consumers increasingly purchase from online or third-party vendors, our officers are at the frontline to guard against defrauders expecting to make money selling fake merchandise.”

LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, director of field operations at the Chicago Field Office, echoed his sentiment.

“Substandard and illegal products harm the U.S. economy and the health and safety of consumers,” she said. “Once again our CBP officers at the Port of Louisville have demonstrated their exceptional skill and superior commodity expertise.”

In fiscal 2022, CBP said it seized more than 24.5 million items that violated intellectual property rights. If genuine, the items would have been worth nearly $3 billion.

CBP has an educational initiative available online to educate consumers about the dangers surrounding counterfeit goods.

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