On Monday the US Customs and Border Protection announced a jaw-dropping haul of seized counterfeit merchandise entering the United States through Kansas City.
Agents found dozens of knock-off Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs jerseys, phony Luis Vuitton handbags, needle kits and, fake Botox kits.
“Criminals are constantly trying to flood the market with their counterfeits,” Steve Bansbach with Customs and Border Protection, said. “To go ahead and get the money, that’s all they’re after.”
During a 28 day span, from February 15 to March 15, federal officers conducted a counterfeit sweep titled ‘Operation Stop the Flow’. Officers inspected 952 shipments of air cargo at Kansas City International airport and additional cargo facilities for companies like DHL and FedEx. The vast majority of the shipments came from places like China, Hong Kong, and other locations in southeast Asia.
Officers made 25 seizures which included:
- 469 counterfeit NFL jerseys
- 163 knock-off designer women’s handbags
- Needle kits
“So now you may be very dangerously injecting yourself with something that may have catastrophic ramifications,” Bansbach told FOX4.
Trafficking in counterfeit merchandise is not a victimless crime, Bansbach adds. Particularly when phoney NFL apparel or high-end bags cut into the bottom line of major companies.
“And when the company goes ahead and looks at the revenue and they see a loss; what are they probably going to do? They’re probably going to fire some people,” Bansbach said.
If you believe you’ve purchased counterfeit merchandise, Bansback is urging people to call the hotline 800.BE.ALERT.
Bansbach points out that, very often, counterfeiting operations generate revenue for other illegal enterprises, run by organized crime syndicates… Fox4KC News