LONG BEACH, Calif. (WPVI) -- Nearly 4,000 counterfeit Hermes belts were seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and import specialists at the Los Angeles and Long Beach seaport complex.
Officers seized 3,960 belts that arrived from China on June 18. The shipment was displayed as "plastic brooms" as a way to evade detection, according to CBP officers.
The belts bore the Hermes trademark on the boxes, back of each belt and on the back of each belt buckle. If the items were genuine, officers estimate the total cost of the belts to be more than $3.2 million.
"Counterfeit products are increasingly of a higher quality, making consumers easily deceived by fakes that look and feel real," said Carlos Martel, CBP port director of the Los Angeles and Long Beach seaport complex. "The flood of counterfeit products not only creates an enormous drain on the U.S. economy, but funds transnational criminal enterprises."
About $1.22 billion worth of counterfeit goods originating overseas was seized by CBP officers last year. The top five countries where the goods originated from were China, India, Hong Kong, Canada and the United Arab Emirates.