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Customs seizes $1.2M in fake luxury merchandise found in 3 shipments

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in the San Juan Field Office intercepted three shipments containing counterfeit luxury brand merchandise, including jewelry and sunglasses, with a combined Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of more than $1.2 million, had it been genuine.

In early February, a shipment from China labeled “Transparent Jewelry Box” contained 165 Van Cleef brand jewelry items. Another shipment from Hong Kong held seven boxes of apparel, jewelry, clothing, shoes and handbags infringing on luxury brands like Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci. A third shipment from China had 240 sunglasses with trademarks of Cartier, Louis Vuitton, and Versace, confirmed as counterfeit.

“As consumers increasingly turn to online platforms for their luxury purchases, the rising tide of counterfeit merchandise and jewelry poses a significant threat. Beyond the allure of a discounted price lies a web of dangers — from subpar craftsmanship to potential health risks,” said Efraín Rivas, assistant director of Field Operations for Trade at the San Juan Field Office.

“Counterfeit luxury goods not only undermine the integrity of renowned brands but also jeopardize the safety and satisfaction of unsuspecting consumers,” he said.

The San Juan Field Office recently seized counterfeit luxury jewelry valued at an estimated $700,000. In the 2023 federal fiscal year, it made 1,313 seizures totaling nearly $21 million in MSRP.

“Purchasing from unauthorized sources not only denies consumers the quality they expect but perpetuates a cycle of illicit practices. We urge consumers to be vigilant, choose authenticity and join us in the fight against the proliferation of counterfeit luxury merchandise, ensuring that every purchase reflects the true value and uncompromising quality associated with genuine luxury brands,” urged Rivas.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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