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CBP - U.S. Customs and Border Protection

03/04/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/04/2021 10:25

CBP Electronics, Machinery Centers, HSI BEST Task Force Seize $14.7 Million in Counterfeit Electronics at World Trade Bridge

LAREDO, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Electronics and Machinery Centers of Excellence and Expertise (CEEs) and Homeland Security Investigations' (HSI) Border Enforcement Security Task Force Financial/Commercial Fraud group in a collaborative effort seized $14.7 million in counterfeit electronics devices, toys and furniture infringing on multiple CBP-registered trademarks.

'This significant seizure is attributable to the dedicated work of our Machinery and Electronics Center import specialists and CBP officers across the country working with our HSI partners to identify, detect and interdict a large quantity of counterfeit electronics goods attempting to enter the U.S.,' said Center Director Juan J. Porras, Machinery CEE. 'Their continued hard work helps us to safeguard the revenue and protect American companies and ultimately consumers from inferior and unsafe counterfeit goods that undercut legitimate products and from paying higher prices at retail stores.'

'Trafficking counterfeit merchandise hurts legitimate business and poses a significant public safety risk as these individuals prey on unsuspecting consumers who believe they are getting name-brand products at reduced price,' said Deputy Special Agent in Charge, Timothy Tubbs, HSI Laredo. 'Together with our Laredo Trade Enforcement Coordination Center law enforcement partners, HSI will continue to engage in an unrelenting pursuit of individuals who attempt to profit from the illegal trafficking of counterfeit products.'

The seizure occurred on Tuesday, February 9, at the World Trade Bridge when a CBP officer referred a commercial shipment of electronic devices for a secondary examination. During a thorough examination and review, CBP officers, import specialists and HSI special agents from the Laredo Trade Enforcement Coordination Center (TECC) discovered that the shipment allegedly contained false authorization letters purporting approval from more than 15 trademarks recorded with CBP for electronic devices, toys and furniture including earphones, mobile phone chargers, gaming controllers, USB cables, digitizers, keyboards, smartphone watch bands and phone cases.

The total manufacturers suggested retail price (MSRP) value, had the items been legitimate, was $14.7 million.

CBP seized 618 boxes and 40 bags of merchandise for alleged trademark infringement and the case remains under investigation by HSI as part of a collaborative effort with CBP's Electronics and Machinery CEEs.

In Fiscal Year 2020, CBP officers nationwide seized more than 26,500 shipments of counterfeit goods that would have been worth nearly $1.3 billion had they been genuine. CBP has established the Truth Behind Counterfeits educational campaign to raise consumer awareness about the health, safety, legal and economic consequences of purchasing counterfeit and pirated goods. For more information, visit https://www.cbp.gov/FakeGoodsRealDangers.

To report suspicious activity, we encourage people to call the HSI Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. All calls are kept confidential.

Follow the Director of CBP's Laredo Field Office on Twitter at @DFOLaredo and on Instagram at @dfolaredo for breaking news, current events, human interest stories and photos.