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U.S. Customs officers seize $2.5 million worth of counterfeit jewelry at Port of Louisville

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Louisville Port of Entry recently seized one package concealing bracelets, necklaces, and earrings that would be worth over $2.5 million had the merchandise been genuine.

On Oct. 26, CBP officers inspected a shipment arriving from Hong Kong that was manifested as necklaces and was heading to a corporation in New York. Upon examination, they found 403 Chanel branded necklaces, 128 Van Cleef and Arpels design necklaces, 52 Cartier Love bracelets, 379 Van Cleef and Arpels design bracelets, 154 Van Cleef and Arpels design pairs of earrings, 560 Cartier style pair of earrings, and 398 Chanel branded pairs of earrings, all of which were counterfeit.

U.S. Customs photo

These 2,074 pieces of jewelry would have had a total Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $2.51 million, if they were real.

“CBP is responsible for enforcing nearly 500 U.S. trade laws and regulations on behalf of 49 other federal agencies. CBP officers play a critical role in the nation’s efforts to protect the American consumer, the U.S economy, and U.S. jobs,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, director, Field Operations-Chicago Field Office, which oversees the Louisville facility.

“This is yet another dramatic example of how dedicated CBP officers are to the CBP mission.”

The rapid growth of e-commerce enables consumers to search for and easily purchase millions of products through online vendors, but this easy access gives counterfeit and pirated goods more ways to enter the U.S. economy. U.S. consumers spend more than $100 billion annually on intellectual property rights infringing goods, falling victim to approximately 20% of the counterfeits that are illegally sold worldwide.

“Intellectual property theft threatens America’s economic vitality and funds criminal activities and organized crime,” said Thomas Mahn, Port Director-Louisville. “Our officers are dedicated to protecting private industry and consumers by removing these kinds of shipments from our commerce.”

The CBP has established an educational initiative to raise consumer awareness about the consequences and dangers that can be associated with the purchase of counterfeit and pirated goods in their Truth Behind Counterfeits campaign.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection   

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