Vendors hawking knock-offs of famous designer labels on New York streets may make a few bucks off unsuspecting or uncaring tourists, but the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol said today that if a recent shipment of fake goods had gotten through the port, it could've netted its owners an incredible payday.
The CBP said in a statement today that earlier this week its agents stopped a shipment at the Port of New York/New Jersey that had been labeled "plastics" only to discover it was actually full of hundreds cartons of fake Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Michael Kors handbags, belts and wallets. Had the goods been real, the shipment would've been worth an estimated $20 million, the CBP said.
"These interceptions are indicative of the exceptional skill level and superior commodity expertise of our CBP Officers and Import Specialists at the Port of New York/New Jersey," CBP New York Field Operations Director Robert Perez said. "Preventing the entry of counterfeit items is crucial to protecting consumers as well as the economy of the United States."
In fiscal year 2011, the CBP reported nearly 25,000 seizures of counterfeit goods and counterfeiting and piracy as a whole costs the U.S. economy up to $250 billion every year, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.