Thursday, December 20, 2012

Largest Counterfeit Bust in Port History

Everything is BIG in Texas-even the counterfeit. Last week, the U.S. Customs and Border Protections Import Specialist Team took down its largest counterfeit in port history at the Port of Laredo, Texas seizing 7,800 fake Audemar Piguet watches. WWD reports that custom officials verified the seizure amounted to a retail value of $83 million dollars. Additionally, this bust is the second significant seizure of Piguet trademarks this year.

Sidney Aki, CBP port director at the Laredo Port of Entry says, "As we approach the Christmas holidays, seizures like these help reassure both the trade community and the public that CBP remains committed to ensuring that recorded trademarks are protected and the American consumer is protected from counterfeit merchandise."

Also, WWD also reported another big holiday bust. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations announced a bust of more than $2 million dollars from retailers in Puerto Rico. Officials seized 4749 counterfeit items infringing on the trademarks of 38 brands- Adidas, Armani, Audemars Piguet, Bulgari, Calvin Klein, Carolina Herrera, Cartier, Hermes, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton.

Special Agent Angel Melendez got it right when he made this statement:
The illegal importation and sale of counterfeit goods is a significant problem that affects our economy, impacts American jobs and innovation, puts the public's health and safety at risk adn at times threatens our national security. Consumers should know that if they buy pirated, counterfeit and/ or unlicensed products, they are hurting legitimate business and they may also be facilitating criminal activity.

Fashion Legallaire's take: Please do not support counterfeit sales. It really does sting the economy. Plus, it is just not fashionable at all. Tack factor much?

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