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US Customs seizes $450,000 worth of fake designer goods at JFK airport

US Customs seizes $450,000 worth of fake designer goods at JFK airport

WASHINGTON:  Designer fakes worth $450,000 were seized at John F. Kennedy Airport by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) this Christmas.

The investigation, titled Operation Bad Gifts, uncovered 203 counterfeit items including sneakers, handbags, watches and sunglasses — all with fake Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Michael Kors, Chanel, Hermes, Christian Louboutin and Coach trademarks.

Robert Perez, the director of field operations in New York for the CBP, said the raid, which was conducted between December 2nd and December 4th,  ‘protected’ hundreds of gift givers this Christmas.

$450,000 worth of designer fakes were seized at John F. Kennedy Airport by U.S. Customs and Border Protection this Christmas

50,000 worth of designer fakes were seized at John F. Kennedy Airport by U.S. Customs and Border Protection this Christmas

According to WWD, a larger December-long crackdown has uncovered an estimated $3million worth of counterfeit goods.

The global counterfeiting market has reached unprecedented levels, with fake goods now accounting for nearly 10per cent of worldwide trade, an estimated $500 billion annually, according to the World Customs Organization.

Last month, a study revealed that a quarter of ads for luxury goods shown on Facebook are selling counterfeit products.

According to Bloomberg, 24per cent of the fashion and luxury ads on Facebook hawk fake goods, even though the social media website claims it is making a conscious effort to try to remove these ads.

The study was conducted by Italian cyber-security researchers Andrew Stroppa and Agostino Spechhiarello, who analyzed 1,000 ads on Facebook to reach their finding – and urged the social network to do do more to protect consumers.

According to the researchers, 180 of the 1,000 ads were luxury and fashion listings.

Ray Bay sunglasses, Louis Vuitton bags, and Ralph Lauren polo shirts were all among the most popular items offered for sale.

Of those, 43 were for counterfeit goods, linking to phony websites made to look like the real thing.

A picture promoting Ray-Ban sunglasses, for instance, will connect you to a website that features all the same branding, but with slight alterations indicating that it is a fake.

The same goes for ads for handbags, designer clothing or accessories.