Crime

Customs Seizes $866K in Counterfeit Jewelry

CrimeMay 12, 2021

Customs Seizes $866K in Counterfeit Jewelry

It’s the latest of several recent seizures by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Cincinnati.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Cincinnati seized Cartier, Van Cleef and Arpels, and Louis Vuitton fakes, one of several shipments of counterfeit jewelry and watches this year.
Cincinnati—U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Cincinnati seized a six-figure shipment of counterfeit jewelry, the latest in a string of counterfeit shipments funneling through the city.

The package came from Guangzhou, China, and was on its way to a private residence in Akron, Ohio. 

Though it had a declared value of $80, officers uncovered 383 items of jewelry claiming to be from luxury brands like Cartier, Van Cleef and Arpels, and Louis Vuitton. 

If the jewelry had been authentic, it would have been worth $866,120.

As online shopping continues to flourish, so have counterfeiters.

“It’s extremely important that as our trade avenues expand, our focus on enforcing intellectual property rights violations expands with it,” said Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie in a press release about the seizures.

“Our officers are working hard day and night to guard our frontline against defrauders expecting to make money selling fake merchandise.”

This seizure is the latest of several counterfeit jewelry shipments seized by Cincinnati officers in recent months.

 Related stories will be right here … 
On April 26, officers uncovered 9,377 pieces of counterfeit jewelry said to be from brands like Tiffany & Co., Pandora, Cartier, and Bulgari. They would be worth more than $4.2 million if authentic.

On April 7, Cincinnati officers uncovered 242 fake Cartier Love bracelets in a shipment originating from China, with an estimated worth of $3.6 million, had they been authentic.

Two shipments originating from China were then seized on March 4, containing 734 counterfeit jewelry pieces, worth $3.2 million when genuine.

On Feb. 10-11, officers stopped two shipments of counterfeit jewelry and watches, said to be from luxe brands like Hermès, Chanel, Rolex and Panerai. The authentic worth totaled nearly $3 million.

And in late January, officials found 85 counterfeit Rolex watches. If authentic, the value would total more than $5.8 million.

Watches and jewelry represent 15 percent of all intellectual property rights (IPR) seizures, according to Customs and Border Protection, topping the list of all items seized due to IPR infringement.

A CBP spokesperson told National Jeweler that despite the multiple incidents, there has been no year-over-year increase in counterfeit jewelry seizures by Cincinnati officers, adding these seizures are “fairly routine.”

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.
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