Federal agents intercepted a shipment of knockoff designer handbags and wallets destined for St. Paul that would have sold for an estimated $400,000 to unwitting buyers had they reached the retail market, authorities announced Thursday.
The shipment of 173 items from Laos arrived at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s international mail facility and quickly drew suspicions of being knockoffs, according to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
“Due to various inconsistencies, poor quality, and the incorrect packaging, further inspection by CBP import specialists determined the items were counterfeit,” the agency said in a statement. “If they were authentic, the retail value would have been $405,975.”
The items sported labels that made them appear to be designed by fashion giants Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and others.
CBP took control of the shipment on December 16 at the airport before it could reach its destination, a residence in St. Paul, then had them inspected and declared permanently seized on Tuesday.
Federal authorities have not said who was supposed to have received the shipment or whether any arrests have been made.
Along with attempting to prevent retail fraud, the CBP said it is on the lookout for counterfeit items because they are often made in unsanitary conditions that create a health risk to buyers and users… Star-Tribune