The fake sneakers arrived as air cargo near Washington Dulles International Airport on Dec. 15. They came in seven packages from China and were all destined to the same Alexandria, Virginia address. In suspecting the shipments might have been counterfeit, CBP inspected them and verified with Nike that they were in fact fake. On Tuesday, customs completed the seizure of 400 pairs of various models of Nike Air Jordan sneakers.
According to Customs, if the shoes were authentic, the manufacturer suggested retail price would be $54,715.
“Customs and Border Protection will continue to work closely with our trade and consumer safety partners to seize counterfeit and inferior merchandise, especially those products that pose potential harm to American consumers, negatively impact legitimate business brand reputations, and potentially steal jobs from U.S. workers,” said Daniel Mattina, CBP acting port director for the Area Port of Washington, D.C.
[Read more about government enforcement: US Cracks Down on Apparel Companies for Falsifying Import Invoices]
CBP and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized a record number of goods that violated Intellectual Property Rights in fiscal year 2016. The number of IPR seizures increased 9 percent in the year to more than 31,560. The total estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the seized goods, had they been genuine, increased to more than $1.38 billion. As a result of CBP enforcement efforts, ICE Homeland Security Investigations agents arrested 451 individuals, obtained 304 indictments and received 272 convictions related to intellectual property crimes.
“The theft of intellectual property and the trade in substandard and often dangerous goods threatens America’s innovation economy and consumer health and safety, and it generates proceeds that fund criminal activities and organized crime,” said Casey Owen Durst, CBP’s field operations director in Baltimore, the agency’s operational commander in the Mid-Atlantic region. “Intellectual property rights enforcement is a Customs and Border Protection priority trade issue, and a mission that we take seriously.”