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Counterfeit Viagra Pills, Footwear, Belts, Car Emblems and Headphones Worth Over $32 Million Seized at the LA/Long Beach Seaport

Release Date: 
December 17, 2020
ED Pills 1
The counterfeit items included more than one million
erectile dysfunction pills.

LOS ANGELES— U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), in coordination with The Los Angeles Police Department’s Commercial Crimes Division, Illicit Pharmaceutical and Counterfeit Unit (IPCU) seized counterfeit products arriving in three containerized cargo shipments from China.

The counterfeit items included more than one million erectile dysfunction pills, footwear, belts, purses and headphones in violation of registered and recorded trademarks. If genuine, the seized merchandise would have had an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $32,161,194.00.

“Criminals are exploiting e-commerce platforms to sell counterfeit and often dangerous goods to unwitting holiday shoppers,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles. “CBP’s strategic partnership with HSI and LAPD’s IPCU is critical in disrupting the transnational criminal organizations behind these smuggling operations.”

ED Pills 2
If genuine, the seized merchandise would have
had an estimated manufacturer’s suggested
retail price (MSRP) of $32,161,194.00.

“Commercial piracy and product counterfeiting undermine the U.S. economy, rob Americans of jobs, stifle American innovation and promote other types of crimes,” said David A. Prince, Special Agent in Charge for HSI Los Angeles. “Intellectual property theft amounts to economic sabotage, which is why HSI will aggressively pursue product counterfeiters and those who sell counterfeit products.”

"The primary mission of the LAPD's IPCU is to aggressively target the manufacture, sales and distribution of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and merchandise," said Captain III Lillian Carranza, Commanding Officer of the LAPD's Commercial Crimes Division. "It is vital to maintain partnerships with CBP and HSI to weaken the supply networks and disrupt the businesses of criminal gangs, organized crime and terrorism groups."

Counterfeits 1
“Criminals are exploiting e-commerce platforms to
sell counterfeit and often dangerous goods to
unwitting holiday shoppers,” said Carlos C. Martel,
CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles.

Every year, CBP seizes millions of counterfeit goods from countries around the world as part of its mission to protect U.S. businesses and consumers. These goods include fake versions of popular products, such as smartphones and related accessories, electronics, apparel, shoes, cosmetics, and high-end luxury goods, as well as goods posing significant health and safety concerns, such as counterfeit pharmaceuticals, bicycle and motorcycle helmets, medical devices, supplements and other consumables. Sold online and in stores, counterfeit goods hurt the U.S. economy, cost Americans their jobs, threaten consumer health and safety, and fund criminal activity.

“Counterfeiters are focused on making a profit; they are not focused on consumer safety,” said Donald R. Kusser, CBP Port Director of the LA/Long Beach Seaport. “Buying counterfeit goods can expose you and your family to health and safety risks while the proceeds support criminal enterprises.”

Counterfeits 2
Sold online and in stores, counterfeit goods
hurt the U.S. economy, cost Americans
their jobs, threaten consumer health and safety,
and fund criminal activity.

Nationwide in Fiscal Year 2020, CBP seized 26,503 shipments containing goods that violated intellectual property rights. The total estimated value of the seized goods, had they been genuine, was nearly $1.3 billion.

As the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security, HSI plays a leading role in targeting criminal organizations responsible for producing, smuggling and distributing counterfeit products. HSI focuses not only on keeping counterfeit products off our nation’s streets, but also on dismantling the criminal organizations behind this activity.

Anyone with information regarding counterfeit crimes are asked to contact Commercial Crimes Detectives at (213) 486-5940.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org.

Tipsters may also visit www.lapdonline.org and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu to submit an online tip.  Lastly, tipsters may also download the “P-3 Tips” mobile application and select the LA Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.

For more information about protecting yourself from counterfeit and pirated goods, visit https://www.cbp.gov/trade/priority-issues/ipr/protection, and https://www.stopfakes.gov/.

 

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021