$ 30million in fake designer bags and clothing seized from SoCal ports ahead of holiday

LOS ANGELES – Agents at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach seized more than 13,000 counterfeit designer items in a recent Chinese freight shipment, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Thursday, warning vacation buyers of don’t be fooled.

The shipment seized on November 9 contained fake Gucci, Chanel, Fendi, Yves Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton bags, shirts and pants, according to the agency. Had they been genuine, the seized items would have a combined retail price of more than $ 30 million, CBP said. There were 13,586 products in total.

Retail crime has been a major concern of California authorities in recent weeks. State has seen a spate of crush and flash mob thefts from stores, and officials are touting the arrest this month of an Orange County woman on suspicion of stealing $ 300,000 in merchandise to retailers.

After the port was seized, authorities warned vacation buyers about the risks of buying counterfeit goods.

“Bad actors exploit e-commerce operations by selling counterfeit and dangerous products on online platforms, especially during the holiday season when shoppers are looking for deals,” said Donald Kusser, Port of Los Angeles manager / Long Beach Seaport.

Officials said the rise of e-commerce has made it easier to hide behind seemingly legitimate listings on well-known websites.

“The sale of counterfeit products multiplies the illegal profits of smugglers and traffickers who reinvest the proceeds of these sales in other criminal enterprises,” warned CBP.

Last year, CBP seized 26,503 shipments nationwide containing counterfeit goods, together valued at nearly $ 1.3 billion if genuine.

The agency offered shoppers these tips to make sure they don’t accidentally buy counterfeit products:

  • Purchase the item directly from the trademark owner or from authorized retailers.
  • When shopping online, read seller reviews and find a US phone number and address that can be used to contact the seller.
  • Remember, if the price of a product seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Further guidance is available in CBP’s E-Commerce Counterfeiting Awareness Guide for Consumers.