Nearly 8,000 pairs of counterfeit high-end men’s designer shoes with a potential street value of $4.3m have been seized by customs officers in the port of Los Angeles.
Officers from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized 7,800 pairs of fake “Salvatore Ferragamo” shoes that arrived in two separate shipments from China.
“The quantity and value of counterfeit merchandise seized is a clear indication of the profits that are involved in the illegal trade of luxury goods,” said CBP.
Sergio Espinoza, CBP acting port director of Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport, said the proliferation of counterfeit luxury footwear could potentially damage the US economy.
CBP reports that around $1.35bn worth of counterfeit goods coming from abroad were seized in 2015 – up 10 % on 2014. Apparel, consumer electronics and footwear make up the greatest number of counterfeit items.
The most important countries supplying the goods were China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Romania, and Turkey. More than $697m or 52% of the seized counterfeits came from China.
“Available on illegitimate websites and sold in underground outlets, counterfeit high fashion commodities multiply the illegal profits of smugglers and traffickers,” said CBP. “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.”