Customs Seizes Nearly $3M in Counterfeit Jewelry, Watches

CrimeMar 05, 2021

Customs Seizes Nearly $3M in Counterfeit Jewelry, Watches

Officers in Cincinnati seized two shipments of counterfeit jewelry and watches, said to be from brands like Tiffany & Co. and Rolex.

A counterfeit Panerai watch was among the items seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Cincinnati last month. (Image courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Cincinnati—U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Cincinnati seized two shipments of counterfeit jewelry and watches in early February.

The first shipment came from Quezon City, Philippines, and was on its way to a private residence in Aurora, Illinois.

Though the package had a declared value of $50, it held 237 items, including watches and jewelry said to be from Hermès, Chanel, Cartier, Gucci, Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton, Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari, and Rolex.

If these pieces had been genuine, they would retail for $783,495, as per the CBP press release on the seizures.

The second shipment came from China and was on its way to an individual in New York City.

This package contained 87 counterfeit Rolex, Cartier, Audemars Piguet, and Panerai watches, said to be worth nearly $2.2 million had the items been genuine.

Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie noted the CBP’s role in protecting intellectual property, and by extension, the economy and consumer safety and health.

“No one buys a luxury brand watch or piece of jewelry expecting it to fail or fall apart,” Gillespie said in a press release.

“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.”

In December, Cincinnati CBP officers seized two shipments of counterfeit jewelry and watches said to be worth nearly $10 million.

A CBP spokesperson told National Jeweler there hasn’t been an uptick in the number of counterfeit watch and jewelry seizures, noting that officers regularly encounter these types of shipments.

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

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