Weekend Haul of $6.88 Million Worth of Fake Jewelry and Watches Seized in Cincinnati

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CINCINNATI–-Last Friday and Saturday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Cincinnati seized three shipments of jewelry and watches deemed counterfeit by CBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise.

Rolex
CBP officers in Cincinnati had a profitable weekend. Officers intercepted counterfeit jewelry and watches that, if real, would have been worth over $6.88 million.

The first shipment originated from Hong Kong, and was destined to a private residence in Richmond, Virginia. Although it had a declared value of $319, the package held 275 assorted Cartier Love bracelets. Had the 275 bracelets been genuine, the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) would have been $3.27 million.

Later that night, CBP officers seized a second shipment also arriving from in Hong Kong. Officers found 385 yellow gold Cartier bracelets and 115 white gold Cartier bracelets. These 500 counterfeit bracelets would have had a total MSRP of $3.2 million, had they been real.

“These large seizures illustrate the work our officers do every day to protect our country, its citizens, and the economy,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Director, Field Operations-Chicago Field Office. “Our officers are dedicated to preventing counterfeiters from defrauding consumers and legitimate businesses.”

On Saturday, August 5, CBP officers seized another shipment from Hong Kong containing 13 fake Rolex watches- 10 Cosmograph Daytona and three Yacht Master II. These counterfeit watches were heading to a business in Mesquite, Texas. Had these been genuine, the MSRP for these watches would have been over $405,000.

“CBP is responsible for enforcing nearly 500 U.S. trade laws and regulations on behalf of 49 other federal agencies.  CBP officers play a critical role in the Nation’s efforts to keep unsafe counterfeit and pirated goods from harming the American public,” said Richard Gillespie, Port Director – Cincinnati.  “This is yet another dramatic example of how CBP officers work every day to protect the American consumer, the US economy and US jobs.”

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The rapid growth of e-commerce enables consumers to search for and easily purchase millions of products through online vendors, but this easy access gives counterfeit and pirated goods more ways to enter the U.S. economy. U.S. consumers spend more than $100 billion every year on intellectual property rights (IPR) infringing goods, falling victim to approximately 20% of the counterfeits that are illegally sold worldwide.

CBP has established an educational initiative to raise consumer awareness about the consequences and dangers associated with purchasing counterfeit and pirated goods online or in stores. More information about that initiative is available at www.cbp.gov/fakegoodsrealdangers.

For more ways to protect yourself from counterfeit and pirated goods, visit https://www.stopfakes.gov/.

Follow CBP on Twitter @CBPChicago and @DFOChicago.