A fresh round of confiscations of fake goods reaching the seaports straight from China has been reported by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials of the Los Angeles/ Long Beach seaport. It is claimed that they have seized about 57,000 fake items which vary from a small fake Cialis pill to footwear and accessories with an estimated worth of about $12.7 million.
CBP has framed a different enforcement approach to Intellectual Property Right (IPR) enforcement which is proactive, aggressive, and dynamic in nature so as to safeguard the customers and businesses of the U.S from the import of illegal products. The number of imported goods has been on the rise in the port since the past year which has also increased the challenges for the team.
All the products were confiscated by the CBP officers with the assistance of special agents of the US Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) who then handed over the entire seized goods to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Commercial Crimes Division, Illicit Pharmaceutical and Counterfeit Unit (IPCU) for investigations.
The CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles, Carlos C. Martel stated, “CBP along with our HIS and LAPD strategic partners form a united front against transnational criminal organizations who attempt to smuggle counterfeit goods.”
The confiscated products had violated the registered trademarks of brands like Christian Dior, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Nike Air, Chanel, Gucci, Givenchy, and Swoosh designs. There were 47,490 fake Cialis pills and 10,117 pieces of footwear and attire.
The agents suggest that most of these products would have gone on illegal websites and marketed through underground outlets. The main aim is to lure the consumers and trick them that they are buying original items at a substantial discount. The CBP warned the consumers to buy products only from authorized retailers and not fall in the trap of manipulators.
The Commanding Officer of the LAPD’s Commercial Crimes Division, Captain Ill Lillian Carranza said, “The primary goal of the LAPD’s IPCU is to identify and disrupt the manufacture, sales and distribution of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and merchandise. It is vital to maintain partnerships with CBP and HIS to weaken the supply networks and dismantle the businesses of organized crime.”
CBP reported that its teams have confiscated about 26,503 shipments nationwide in 2020 which contain fake products which would have summed up to $1.3 billion if genuine.