A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Louisville border agents sieze two shipments of counterfeit jewelry arriving from Hong Kong

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Louisville on Monday night stopped and inspected two shipments containing designer rings, watch bands and phone cases, which were deemed to be counterfeit.

CBP officers examined the first shipment to determine the admissibility of the goods and found 2,500 rings displaying the logos of Versace, Gucci, Bvlgari, and Rolex. While the shipment was manifested as rings stainless steel, they were seized for infringing on the designer’s protected trademarks. The merchandise was arriving from Hong Kong and was heading to Suwanne, Georgia.

Shipments of fake jewelry were intercepted by customs in Louisville. (Photo from U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

The second shipment was also arriving from Hong Kong and was headed to a residence in Orlando, Florida. Officers inspected the shipment and found 319 phone cases and 210 watch bands bearing Louis Vuitton logos, and 60 watch bands bearing the Gucci logo. These items were also seized for infringing on the designer’s protected trademarks.

All were determined to be fakes by the CBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise, the agency’s trade experts, who noted had all of these items been genuine, the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price would have been $1.76 million.

“Counterfeit goods are poor quality products that cost U.S. businesses billions of dollars a year while robbing our country of jobs and tax revenues,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Director, Field Operations, Chicago Field Office, which oversees operations in Kentucky. “CBP officers throughout the nation remain committed to stopping counterfeit smuggling, taking profits from organized crime, and helping protect our communities from potentially hazardous knockoffs.”

The illicit trafficking of counterfeit goods offers criminals a source of income through which they can launder money. Additionally, money received from the sale of counterfeit products can be channeled towards the further production of fake goods or other illicit activities. CBP says counterfeiting is a hugely profitable business, with criminals relying on the continued high demand for cheap goods coupled with low production costs.

“This is a great example of the work our officers do to protect consumers and the U.S. economy,” said Louisville Port Director Thomas Mahn. “Our officers continue to use their training, knowledge, and skills to identify high-risk shipments and shut down illicit suppliers.”

CBP encourages anyone with information about counterfeit merchandise illegally imported into the United States to submit an e-Allegation. This is a way the public can anonymously report any suspected violations of trade laws or regulations on the importation of goods.

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