Douglas, Ariz. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers stopped an illegal shipment of Disney-character piñatas from entering the commerce of the U.S. when a commercial load of piñatas emulating popular Disney characters was seized.
On June 18, at about 9 a.m., CBP officers were screening commercial entries coming from Mexico. The officers selected for secondary investigation a tractor-trailer, which was loaded with articles made of papier-mâché, including 108 piñatas emulating Disney characters.
Further investigation by the CBP officers revealed that the Disney character piñatas were indeed an intellectual property rights violation and that the shipment was bound for Thornton, Colo.
CBP officers seized the illegal shipment of piñatas. They constituted a violation of intellectual property rights, which protect the merchandise of legitimate businesses.
"The piñatas may have an appearance of innocence," said Eli Villarreal, assistant port director and overseer of all commercial operations, "but the aggregate shipment of illegal merchandise on a national scale can undermine the stability of our nation's economy, which is a vital element in national security. Customs and Border Protection remains committed in securing our nation's borders."
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.