Officials seize millions in fake brands
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Authorities have confiscated millions of dollars worth of fake items, and they want to warn the South Florida community during the holiday season.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection office in Miami is cracking down on fakes and rounded up loads of counterfeit designer merchandise intercepted across South Florida. "Here in South Florida we are one of the most active areas that receive counterfeit goods in this enforcement activity," said the Director of Field Operations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection Vernon Foret. "It takes place in our airports, sea ports and express carrier hubs."
Just this year, over 1,000 shipments with a street value of more than $60 million have been confiscated. "The most commonly seized items in South Florida are counterfeit pharmaceuticals, consumer electronic items, computers, toys, electronic games, jewelry," said Foret.
From handbags to watches, officials said they know how to spot a fake from an original piece. "The main reason merchandise can be determined to not be authentic is just the quality of it," said an official.
The amount of counterfeit merchandise being produced and sold across South Florida is on the rise. Officials said not only does it hurt the consumer, but it affects national security. "The theft of intellectual property and counterfeit goods threatens America's economy, the competitiveness of our businesses, the livelihood of U.S. workers, and in some cases, national security, and the health and safety of our consumers," said Foret.
With the busy holiday shopping season in full swing, officials advice for anyone eyeing a fake: "Be careful. We do our part to try to stop the stuff from getting to the consumer, but if we cant stop everything, they just need to be aware of what they buy," said an official.
Officials said you should always examine the merchandise and look closely for imperfections to determine whether it is a fake.
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