Bargain shoppers beware: Customs stops shipment of fake designer watches

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As holiday shoppers go online to purchase presents for friends and family, they need to know who they are buying their gifts from before they end up with a worthless item.

  perfect example of that happened on Tuesday, when fake watches that would have been worth over $25 million if real, were intercepted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at their Louisville International Airport facility.

 fficers in Louisville halted four shipments, all from the same shipper in Hong Kong, each of which contained 320 counterfeit Rolex watches. The shipments were headed to Salt Lake City.

 ach package was mislabeled, and officers inspected them to determine the admissibility of its contents in accordance with CBP regulations. When each shipment was opened, officers found 320 suspected counterfeit Rolex watches. Those watches were reviewed by an import specialist who determined the items were fakes. In all, 1,280 watches were seized.

 “During this holiday season consumers are always looking for the best deal; the unfortunate part is criminals are also online pedaling their counterfeit products,” said Thomas Mahn, port director-Louisville. “Our CBP officers will continue to seize counterfeit items that threaten the safety and health of consumers and weaken the U.S. economy.”

 he CBP seizes a wide variety of counterfeit products from all over the world every year. In Fiscal Year 2019, officers nabbed over 27,000 shipments of counterfeit goods worth more than $1.5 billion, had the goods been genuine. The most common fake goods are watches and jewelry; apparel and related accessories; handbags and wallets; footwear; and consumer electronics.

 he agency has established an educational initiative to raise consumer awareness about the consequences and dangers that are often associated with the purchase of counterfeit and pirated goods. Information about the CBP’s “Truth Behind Counterfeits” public awareness campaign can be found at https://www.cbp.gov/FakeGoodsRealDangers.




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