US Customs Seizes Nearly $7M in Counterfeit Jewelry, Watches

CrimeDec 28, 2023

US Customs Seizes Nearly $7M in Counterfeit Jewelry, Watches

Officers in Cincinnati uncovered fake goods from brands like Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Rolex, and Audemars Piguet.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection logo
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials in Cincinnati seized 11 shipments of counterfeit jewelry and watches from Dec. 1-7, valued at nearly $7 million if genuine.
Cincinnati—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Cincinnati recently seized 11 shipments of counterfeit jewelry and watches that would have been worth nearly $7 million if genuine.

On Dec. 1, officers halted a package from Hong Kong containing 783 pieces of counterfeit jewelry claiming to be from Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Fendi, Versace, and Christian Dior that was heading to a residential address in North Carolina.

The officers spotted the “cheap generic packaging” and “lack of intricate details.” 

The following day, Dec. 2, CBP seized 60 sets of jewelry originating from Hong Kong, claiming to be from Cartier, Michael Kors, Tory Burch, and Gucci. 

On Dec. 3, the officers stopped a box from Indonesia that contained a fake Audemars Piguet watch.

These two shipments were also headed to private residences in North Carolina and Maryland.

On Dec. 6, officers inspecting freight uncovered six more shipments of counterfeit merchandise. 

One shipment held 650 pieces of fake Van Cleef & Arpels earrings, bracelets, and necklaces with a value of over $1.7 million if genuine.

Another box held 102 fake Rolex watches with matching boxes, as well as 20 counterfeit Gucci belts, with a combined value of more than $3 million if genuine.

The other four shipments held additional counterfeit goods, including a Franck Muller watch, a Cartier watch, a Tissot watch, and five Apple watches.

On Dec. 7, officers seized two more shipments of counterfeit goods. One box held counterfeit jewelry and headbands with logos from Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Dior, as well as Mickey Mouse. 

The last shipment included 125 fake watches, claiming to be from Rolex, Gucci, Adidas, Tous, and Coach.

 Related stories will be right here … 

“CBP protects legitimate trade practices and recommends shoppers purchase their holiday gifts from reputable websites and businesses,” said Cincinnati Port Director Alrick Brooks.

 “With the influx in e-commerce, purchasing gifts online can be misleading through third-party sites. We encourage you to be aware and report any suspicious illegal trade activity.”

The 11 shipments were declared counterfeit by CBP’s trade experts at its Centers for Excellence and Expertise and were seized for infringing on the designers’ protected trademarks.

“Protecting the American people, our borders, and enhancing economic prosperity is our job here at U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, director of Chicago Field Operations.

“Officers are trained to detect shipments containing intellectual property rights violations, and the officers at the Port of Cincinnati do this job very well. By enabling compliant trade, we are protecting the American consumer and the businesses.”

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

Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

The Latest

Macy’s Herald Square store
MajorsJul 16, 2024
Macy’s Ends Buyout Talks

The retailer will not be making a deal with Arkhouse Management and Brigade Capital Management, opting to focus on its turnaround plan.

National Jeweler columnist Lilian Raji
ColumnistsJul 16, 2024
The PR Adviser: Awareness Starts With Your Online Store

Lilian Raji discusses the importance of having an intentional website design that aligns with your brand or store’s goals.

Catbird The Met collection
CollectionsJul 16, 2024
Catbird Debuts New Met Collection

It’s the second collaborative offering from the jewelry brand and the New York City art museum.

Untitled design.jpg
Brought to you by
The End of an Era? Lab-Grown Diamonds' Journey Towards Price Stability

As the demand for lab-grown diamond jewelry may still be increasing, the most notable change we are likely to see is price stabilization.

Craftsman holding Pomellato Arengario necklace
MajorsJul 16, 2024
Pomellato Acquires Valenza Setting Lab

The Kering-owned brand bought VSL to reinforce its manufacturing capabilities.

Weekly QuizJul 11, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge by answering these questions.
Take the Quiz
Ewa Abrams, Kering’s new president for the Americas
MajorsJul 16, 2024
Kering Appoints New President for Americas Region

The luxury conglomerate promoted General Counsel Ewa Abrams to the role, succeeding Laurent Claquin.

Tanzanite ring
MajorsJul 15, 2024
Signet Falls 11 Spots on NRF’s ‘Top 100’ Retailers List

The jewelry giant came in at No. 67 on the list, down from No. 56 last year.

1872 x 1052 Gemolite.jpg
Brought to you by
Meet Gemology’s Next Generation Microscope: GIA® Gemolite® NXT Professional Edition

GIA®’s most advanced microscope has new features to optimize greater precision and comfort.

 2025 Gem Awards logo
Events & AwardsJul 15, 2024
Nominations Are Open for the 2025 Gem Awards

Submissions in the categories of Jewelry Design, Media Excellence, and Retail Excellence will be accepted through Aug. 23.

Sunlit’s Sun Goddess Supreme Ring and Pyramid Rutilated Quartz Necklace
Events & AwardsJul 15, 2024
NY Now Expands Emerging Designer Segment for Its Summer Market

Curated at Luxury Lifestyle will build on the former initiative, the Emerging Fine Jewelry Designer Incubator.

Collage of Caitlin Albritton and her jewelry
Events & AwardsJul 15, 2024
Halstead Announces 2024 Grant Winner

Caitlin Albritton won the 19th annual Halstead Grant for emerging jewelry businesses.

Myne London
CollectionsJul 12, 2024
Myne London to Support Malala Fund

The emerald supplier will donate a percentage of sales from its “Star Power” earrings to the nonprofit in support of girls’ education.

The Jewelry Symposium logo
Events & AwardsJul 12, 2024
The Jewelry Symposium Is Looking for Speakers

TJS is seeking jewelry manufacturing and technology experts to speak at its 2025 event.

Sculptural Freeform Earrings
CollectionsJul 12, 2024
Piece of the Week: Marrow Fine’s ‘Sculptural Freeform’ Earrings

The earrings were inspired by the landscape at Joshua Tree and Jean Arp’s abstract sculptures.

Madeline Fraser Gemist
EditorsJul 11, 2024
Q&A: Gemist CEO Madeline Fraser on Jewelry Visualization Technology

Fraser shares why she decided to shift from a direct-to-consumer retailer to a B2B technology company.

Jewelers of America learning workshop Providence logo
Events & AwardsJul 11, 2024
JA to Host Next Learning Workshop in Providence

The one-day workshop will be held July 17 at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Jewelers International Showcase Logo Statue
Events & AwardsJul 11, 2024
Registration Now Open for JIS Fall 2024

The jewelry trade show will take place in Miami Oct. 6-9.

Kyle Kuzma, D’Angelo Russell, Jalen Green, Jaime Jacquez Jr., Kevin Love, Josh Hart, and Seth Curry
MajorsJul 11, 2024
David Yurman Names 7 NBA Players as Brand Ambassadors

The partnership reinforces David Yurman’s position as a leader in men’s jewelry, said the company.

Matturi Fine Jewelry totem jewel
Events & AwardsJul 10, 2024
IAC’s Gold and Diamond Conference to Focus on ‘Expanding Horizons’

The 14th annual conference will host panels on cross-sector collaboration, industry sanctions, and more.

Immediate Connections
Events & AwardsJul 10, 2024
Women’s Art Center of the Hamptons to Host Jewelry Exhibition

“Immediate Connections” will be on view from July 18-21.

Navneet Gems salt & pepper sapphires
SourcingJul 10, 2024
Navneet Gems Launches Salt-and-Pepper Sapphires

Sourced from Tanzania, the stones feature a unique hematite inclusion.

Buccellati butterfly brooch
TrendsJul 10, 2024
Amanda’s Style File: Slither and Fly

Snakes, birds, and bugs are all the buzz this summer.

Peter Smith
ColumnistsJul 09, 2024
11 and ½ Thoughts on Leadership

From prioritizing “big rocks” to practicing transparency, Peter Smith explores what it takes to be an effective leader.

John Hardy bracelet and Wölffer Estate Summer in a Bottle rosé
CollectionsJul 09, 2024
John Hardy Toasts to Wölffer Estate With New Collection

The capsule collection is inspired by the Hamptons vineyard’s Summer in a Bottle rosé.

Fuli Gemstones peridot The Curious Gem
SourcingJul 09, 2024
The Curious Gem Now Carrying Fuli Peridot

The U.K.-based online supplier will offer calibrated stones under 1 carat.

Graff’s fancy yellow and white diamond necklace
CollectionsJul 09, 2024
See Graff’s New High Jewelry Creations

The jewels are inspired by modern architecture with a focus on the play of light and movement.

Ravi Bhansali and Isidore Mörsel
SourcingJul 08, 2024
AWDC Re-Elects Isidore Mörsel as Board President

Ravi Bhansali has been elected vice president.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy