Massive Philadelphia Counterfeit Busts Include Fake YETI Tumblers and Bogus Luxury Watches
Though Boston also covets the crown, we here in Philadelphia will always deem our turf “the cradle of liberty.” Fortunately, for Philadelphians, that freedom does not extend to lawbreakers, though, and its U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers have proven productive this year, recently announcing their successful suppression of counterfeit peddlers. Their efforts netted 100 bogus YETI mugs and 699 knockoff luxury watches, with the busts highlighting an increasing trend with regards to phony goods’ seizure.
— CBP Mid-Atlantic (@CBPMidAtlantic) June 19, 2018
In announcing the confiscations, the federal law enforcement agency relayed that in Fiscal Year 2017, its removal of products that violated Intellectual Property Rights increased 8 percent from the previous calendar year. Barely six months into 2018, Philadelphia’s CBP division has already made six significant busts, with the luxury watches one, which occurred June 11, being the most recent. Two months before that, YETI, which we have covered before, became counterfeiters’ intended victim through a parcel manifest as “fishing reel iron products.” That false identifier, the shoddy quality of the contents and trademark-based input from YETI led to the items’ capture, with CBP commenting that the questionable drinkware articles had been destined for Philadelphia addresses.
Philadelphia #CBP officers seized 699 counterfeit luxury brand watches shipped from Hong Kong. If authentic, the shipment would hold an MSRP of $10 million. Details at https://t.co/Md941SzWow #IPR pic.twitter.com/5xTQJnMQeo
— CBP Mid-Atlantic (@CBPMidAtlantic) June 28, 2018
Like the tumblers, the watches had made their journey from Hong Kong, with the would-be sellers of them manifesting the parcel as lithium batteries. With a manufacturer’s suggested retail price tallying nearly $10 million, they bore insignias with poor likenesses to those of luxury brands, such as Harley Davidson and Rolex. Given that, according to CBP, officers seized $3.3 million worth of products with Intellectual Property Rights violations in 2017, the securing of the watches marks quite a success for the agents. Because Philadelphia has netted a half-dozen notable confiscations so far, with most involving jewelry, one can expect that the hires under Joseph Martella, the CBP Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia, will have more opportunities to work closely with their trade and consumer safety partners “to identify and seize counterfeit merchandise, especially those products that pose potential harm to American consumers.” With summer upon us and the holiday season not too far away, second-rate tumblers and watches could very well end up in their hands again.