Police seize $1 billion worth of counterfeit goods in New York
Authorities in New York have seized more than $1 billion (£803 million) worth of counterfeit products, said to be the largest amount of counterfeit goods in US history.
Officials say they seized nearly 219,000 fake handbags, shoes and other luxury items in the massive bust.
Two men are accused of smuggling the goods, which police say was done from a storage locker in Manhattan.
If convicted, they face up to 10 years in prison.
“Trafficking in counterfeit goods is not a victimless crime,” New York Police Commissioner Edward Caban said in a statement. “It hurts businesses, governments and legitimate consumers.”
The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York arrested two men – Adama Sow and Abdulai Jalloh – on Wednesday.
The pair ran “large-scale counterfeit goods smuggling operations” from January 2023 until late October, according to the US Attorney’s Office.
Photos published by the authorities show rooms filled with luxury bags, wallets, sunglasses, etc., amounting to a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of about $1.03 billion.
Authorities point out that the market value of counterfeit goods is usually much lower than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.
Law enforcement authorities seized more than 83,000 counterfeit items from the building controlled by Mr Su, valued at more than $502 million (£404 million).
A search of the building controlled by Mr. Jalloh led to the seizure of more than 50,000 counterfeit items valued at more than $237 million ($190 million).
In September, New York police seized $35 million (£28 million) worth of counterfeit goods and arrested 18 people.
Lower Manhattan, specifically along Canal Street, has been home to a large number of sellers of counterfeit goods for years.