Over the last five weeks, inspectors at Los Angeles International Airport have reportedly seized more than three dozen counterfeit luxury watches that were imported from China.
United States Customs and Border Protection agents say that they located 41 watches during the five-week period, which would have been worth an estimated $1.3 million if they were genuine and sold at the suggested retail price.
"The watches arrived in individual packages via air cargo from China to destinations across the United States," said Border Protection Officer Jaime Ruiz in a statement. "In an attempt to evade detection by CBP officials, the watches were misdeclared as 'Bracelet,' 'Belt,' 'Decoration,' 'Watch Box,' and 'Wall Clock.'"
The seized watches included well-known brands like Rolex and Omega.
In all, officers seized:
- 37 counterfeit Rolex pieces,
- One counterfeit Panerai Luminor piece,
- One counterfeit Patek Philippe piece,
- One counterfeit Audemars Piguet piece, and
- One counterfeit Omega piece.
"There are thousands of private sellers, collectors and other non-legitimate sources offering luxury watches on e-commerce platforms making it extremely difficult for consumers to spot these fakes," said Carlos C. Martel, the Customs and Border Protection Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles. "Consumers should know that buying fake watches is never a good idea —don't waste your money."
Martel says that many counterfeit watches are often made with cheap metals that could cause allergic reactions on some people's skin and that counterfeit pieces "lack the craftsmanship and quality of the real ones."
"The bottom line is that importing, selling and buying counterfeit goods is illegal," said CBP Port Director of LAX Cheryl Davies.
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