U.S., Mexico Seize Nearly $80 Million in Counterfeit Goods

Items include mobile phones, handbags and computer software.

U.S. and Mexican authorities have seized $76.8 million in counterfeit goods in a pre-holiday crackdown, the U.S. customs agency said Dec. 22.

As part of "Operation Holiday Hoax II," law enforcement agents targeted ports, shops and flea markets, confiscating some 327,000 items, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said in a statement.

The counterfeit and pirated items include toys, mobile phones, handbags, DVDs, perfume, wallets, computer software and sports jerseys.

Investigators swept 66 US cities and 55 Mexican cities as part of the six-week operation. South Korean authorities also took part in the sting by conducting raids in Seoul, according to ICE.

"This year's success during Operation Holiday Hoax was as a result of the close partnership with the governments of Mexico and South Korea," ICE Director John Morton said in the statement.

"Together, we've dealt a significant blow to counterfeiters worldwide while making a positive impact on American jobs here at home."

The first Operation Holiday Hoax, carried out in December 2009, netted some $26 million worth of counterfeit merchandise, according to ICE.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

TAGS: Trade
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