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Cincinnati Customs Seize $6.9 Million Counterfeit Designer Jewelry

Two homes in North Carolina and Maryland may not be having a very happy holiday season after Cincinnati customs officers seized counterfeit designer jewelry packages sent to homes in both states.

Dec 26, 20233.1K Shares124.7K ViewsWritten By: Johnny K.Reviewed By: Luke Williams
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Cincinnati Customs Seize $6.9 Million Counterfeit Designer Jewelry

Two homes in North Carolina and Maryland may not be having a very happy holiday season after Cincinnati customs seized counterfeit designer jewelrypackagessent to homes in both states.

The CBP's Cincinnati port officers found 11 shipments of fake goods from India, China, and Indonesia in the first week of December. The fake goods were worth more than $6.96 million if they were real, the agency said Monday.

Cincinnati Customs Seize Counterfeit Designer Jewelry

Different gold accessories on a jewelry box
Different gold accessories on a jewelry box

The holiday season turned somber for unsuspecting households in North Carolina and Maryland as Cincinnati customs officers thwarted their festive plans by intercepting large counterfeit jewelry shipments, according to an announcement by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

In a weeklong operation commencing in early December, CBP officers at the Cincinnati port confiscated a staggering 11 shipments of knockoff merchandise originating from India, China, and Indonesia. If genuine, the seized items would have commanded a market value exceeding $6.96 million, revealed the agency in a statementon Monday.

Trade experts from the Centers for Excellence and Expertise, a division of CBP, conclusively identified the intercepted shipments as counterfeit, underlining the pervasive nature of the illicit trade.

On December 1, a shipment containing 783 imitation jewelry items, originating from Hong Kong and adorned with labels such as Versace, Christian Dior, and Fendi, was seized. The destination was a residential address in North Carolina, and the estimated value of the bogus jewelry was an eye-watering $992,046 if it had been authentic, according to the release.

“Based on the cheap generic packaging, lack of intricate details and routing led to the seizure of this shipment by officers in Cincinnati,”stated the agency, emphasizing the importance of keen observation in identifying counterfeit goods.

The following day, on December 2, CBP officers intercepted 60 sets of fake jewelry from Hong Kong, featuring knockoff versions of renowned brands like Cartier, Michael Kors, Tory Burch, and Gucci.

A box from Indonesia, discovered on December 3, held a single Audemars Piguet watch that is “lacking the fine details needed to be genuine,”as per the release. Both shipments were en route to private residences in North Carolina and Maryland.

As the week progressed, CBP officers on December 6 discovered more than 750 counterfeit jewelry pieces concealed within freight purportedly containing fake Gucci belts. The shipment also included jewelry labeled as Van Cleef & Arpels and counterfeit watches masquerading as Cartier, Apple, and Franck Muller brands.

This seizure follows a separate incident on December 13, where CBP seized over $10 million worth of hard narcotics concealed within a shipment of jalapeño paste at the Otay Mesa Cargo Facility in Otay Mesa, California.

The genuine market value of a Van Cleef & Arpels necklace, advertised on the luxury jewelry company's website, was juxtaposed with the intercepted counterfeit items. The legitimate necklace was priced at $24,300, while a high-end watch from Cartier, available on the official website for $300,000, underscored the magnitude of the illicit trade.

On December 7, yet another interception revealed additional fake merchandise, including jewelry, watches, and headbands adorned with logos from Chanel, Coach, Rolex, Louis Vuitton, and even Mickey Mouse, signaling the extensive reach of the counterfeit market, as reported by CBP.

Cincinnati port director Alrick Brooks, in the wake of these operations, issued a cautionary statement:

With the influx in e-commerce, purchasing gifts online can be misleading through third-party sites. We encourage you to be aware and report any suspicious illegal trade activity.- Alrick Brooks


Amid the holiday season, the US Customs and Border Protection's relentless efforts to intercept and expose counterfeit jewelry shipments totaling $6.96 million have underscored the pervasive threat of illicit trade. The cautionary tale, featuring knockoff pieces from renowned brands, serves as a stark reminder for consumers to remain vigilant, especially when navigating the online marketplace.

As the CBP remains steadfast in its commitment to protecting consumers from deceptive imitations, this festive season stands as a testament to the agency's dedication to ensuring that holiday cheer is not tainted by the shadow of counterfeit goods.

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