The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has seized more than US$2 million worth of fake Nike shoes at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport.
In a statement, the CBP said the seizure was carried out in coordination with import specialists the Apparel, Footwear and Textiles Center of Excellence (AFT Center). In total, 14,806 pairs of shoes were taken, amounting to a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $2,247,680.
The shoes, a collection of Nike’s Air Jordan 1 Off-White, Air Jordan 12, Air Jordan 1, Air Jordan 11, Air Max ’97, were mis-declared as napkins in what the CBP described as “a clear attempt to disguise the illicit cargo”.
As special edition Nike and retro designs, they would have been highly coveted by collectors and sport shoes enthusiasts. A legitimate pair can sell for as much as $2,000 online.
“Intellectual property theft is a crime that leads to lost revenue for American industry, a loss of American jobs, and often poses a threat to public health and safety,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles.
“CBP is the frontline that protects American ingenuity, without any doubt, one of the most valuable assets of our country.”
Joseph Macias, Special Agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) Los Angeles, also commented: “Transnational criminal organizations continue to profit from American intellectual property by selling their counterfeit and piratical goods not only in the U.S. but around the world.
“HSI, in conjunction with CBP, target both the domestic and international facets of these criminal conspiracies for disruption and dismantlement.”