Photos courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
There’s just nothing like the real thing.
In late July, customs agents at the Los Angeles-Long Beach ports drew upon this very ideal, confiscating thousands of counterfeit Ferragamo designer shoes that would have had an estimated retail value of nearly $4.3 million, if genuine, authorities announced today.
Officials seized 7,800 pairs of shoes from two separate shipments originating in China on Wednesday, July 20, said the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Jaime Ruiz.
“These seizures demonstrate the high level of skill and vigilance of our officers in protecting the intellectual property rights of companies and individuals, as well as preventing the proliferation of counterfeit luxury footwear, potentially damaging our national economy," said Sergio Espinoza, CBP's acting port director of the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport.
In fact, $1.35 billion worth of counterfeit goods were seized by the CBP in FY 2015, said Ruiz. The goods in question originated overseas, most commonly from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Romania and Turkey.
“Available on illegitimate websites and sold in underground outlets, counterfeit high fashion commodities multiply the illegal profits of smugglers and traffickers," Ruiz said. “The public is misguided into believing they are buying an original product at a significant discount, and the money they spend on these types of goods is often used in other forms of criminal enterprises."
City News Service contributed to this report.