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Counterfeit Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel Items Worth $635K Seized in Chicago

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Chicago O’Hare’s International mail branch intercepted a package that contained 445 counterfeit designer products last week.

CBP said the shipment was coming from Thailand and, had the items been real, the manufacturer’s suggested retail price for these products would have been $635,600. CBP officers examined the delivery to determine the admissibility of the shipments, and discovered the box contained counterfeit designer items.

Officers found handbags labeled Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci and Christian Dior; a set of Chanel, Gucci and Louis Vuitton hosiery; caps from Nike and Gucci; 131 pairs of earnings from Chanel, Dior, YSL, Gucci and Louis Vuitton; six Louis Vuitton face masks; two Louis Vuitton wallets; Louis Vuitton and Fendi sunglasses; pendants marked Louis Vuitton, Dior, Gucci and YSL, and more than 100 Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Dior and Chanel hairclips.

The merchandise was seized for violating trademark laws. The name of the shipper was the same name as the recipient and was heading to a residence in Wichita, Kan.

“This is just another example of the work our officers do to protects consumers and the U.S. economy,” said Shane Campbell, area port director-Chicago. “As consumers increasingly purchase from online or third-party vendors, our officers are at the frontline to guard against defrauders expecting to make money selling fake merchandise.”

CBP said 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 percent of the counterfeits that are illegally sold worldwide.

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Commonly, these goods are sold in underground outlets and on third party e-commerce websites, CBP said. Counterfeit commodities fund smugglers and members of organized crime, with consumers often believing they are buying a genuine product but soon realizing the item is substandard.

Every year, CBP seizes millions of counterfeit goods from countries around the world as part of its mission to protect U.S. businesses and consumers. These goods include fake versions of popular products, such as smartphones and related accessories, electronics, apparel, shoes, cosmetics and high-end luxury goods, as well as goods posing significant health and safety concerns, such as counterfeit pharmaceuticals, bicycle and motorcycle helmets, medical devices, supplements and other consumables.

Nationwide in fiscal 2020, CBP seized 26,503 shipments containing goods that violated IPR. The total estimated value of the seized goods, had they been genuine, was nearly $1.3 billion.