Gotcha! Catching Counterfeits

Seizures of counterfeit goods climbed 83% in 2006.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) named fiscal year 2006 its most productive year in history when it comes to the number and value of seizures of counterfeit goods. The department's U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) components made 14,675 seizures worth more than $155 million. Footwear accounted for 41% of the entire value of goods seized.

Some of DHS' major cases in fiscal 2006 include:

  • ICE and CBP officers from three states seized 77 cargo containers of counterfeit Nike Air Jordan athletic shoes and one container of Abercrombie & Fitch clothing. Estimated value: $69.5 million.
  • The CBP snagged nearly 132,000 products in Puerto Rico with counterfeit Underwriters Laboratories labels. Estimated value: $45,000.
  • An organization in Detroit imported counterfeit Zig Zag cigarette papers with an estimated value of $16 million and sold them well below the registered brand's retail price. Seven people were convicted of federal violations that included trafficking in counterfeit goods.
  • Operation Spring, the first U.S.-Sino joint undercover law enforcement operation in the People's Republic of China, led to the arrest of a U.S. citizen in Shanghai as well as the forfeiture of 160,000 counterfeit DVDs.

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