On the morning of 16 August, a large number of investigators raided the law enforcement in New York and other places, arresting 33 Chinese men and women involved in large quantities of illegal smuggling of counterfeit brands. They are suspected of smuggling, transporting counterfeit goods and then selling them to the outside world through some regular shops. Law enforcement officials estimate that if the fake goods are sold at genuine prices, they will receive more than $450 million.
Of the 33 Chinese indicted, 32 were Chinese Americans and one was illegally detained.
An arrested smuggling gang
They are suspected of transporting large quantities of counterfeit luxury products from China and smuggling them into the United States for illegal sale. The counterfeit brand products involved include Louis Vuitton, Tony (ToryBurch) handbag, Herm è s belt, Chanel perfume, Michael Ghosn (MichaelKors) wallet and so on. Prosecutors estimate that if the fake goods are sold at genuine prices, the amount will exceed $450 million.
Law enforcement officials have expressed concern about the seizure of counterfeit Chanel perfume, which had been detected in animal urine in similar commodities previously seized.
This is a typical family business, according to ABC television in the United States.
The whole smuggling gang division of labor is clear, including entry, distribution, domestic transportation three links, and in the process of committing the crime, some defendants are also involved in money laundering, the illegal behavior of the application for immigration benefits and so on. On 16 August, they were charged with felony crimes such as conspiracy to smuggle, transport counterfeit goods, money-laundering, immigration fraud and illegal naturalization.
Currently, the federal government also controls nine of their properties in Queens, Brooklyn and Stanton Island, worth $12 million (82.48 million yuan).
related cases have been investigated for six years
Federal Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Donohue, pointed out that the defendant fabricated various scams to smuggle a large number of counterfeit luxury goods from China to the United States for profit by selling counterfeit goods. He pointed out that the Eastern District Federal Prosecutor’s Office will always cooperate with the Immigration Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), the Department of Homeland Security (HSI), the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and other departments to protect the intellectual property rights that maintain the freedom and fairness of the international trade market from infringement.
Investigators say the case is by far the most valuable forgery case ever seized in New York. Of the 22 containers involved, 20 were smuggled into the United States from New York and New Jersey and two from Los Angeles. All the goods are spread out and can be filled with several football fields.
Seized smuggled goods
In 2012, a $325 million fraud case was seized in Newark, New Jersey. At that time, the prosecution charged a total of 29 Chinese involved in the case. According to prosecutors, from 2008 to 2012, the gang carried 35 containers of counterfeit goods from China and entered the United States from Newark, New Jersey, mainly in handbags and sneakers.
The gang found an import company that claimed a special relationship with the port, wanted to take out the seized goods and agreed to pay $900000 in compensation. However, the company happened to be a government undercover agent, and investigators seized evidence of the defendant through secret audio and video recordings, arresting 29 people in one fell swoop.
The federal government has been investigating cases since 2012.
regular stores selling fake goods?
Investigators say they are mainly responsible for the fake supply chain, not distributors.
Angel Mellandes is the main person in charge of the case. ‘there are two main ways of smuggling,’ he said.
First, they contacted fake manufacturers in China and shipped them to the United States through as many as eight legal shipping companies. To cover up, these fakes are labeled with the name, address, and false description of the import company. Smugglers also use false and incomplete information to obtain virtual computer numbers and email to hide their true identities. The fakes were then shipped to Queens, Brooklyn and long Island in New York, where they were distributed to dealers.
Second, smugglers travel to China to buy related copycat products. These imitations are legally imported to the United States because they are not branded. Members of the group searched for another Chinese factory to build brand names and then smuggled them to the United States and put them on the label.
Mercedes noted that three retail stores in Queens and Manhattan had closed down for fraud. These shops are all legally-operated regular stores.
When the New York Times called one of the stores, “Pelia Fashion,” a clerk responded that the store was still open. The clerk stressed that no one had been arrested in the shop. Yesterday, the reporter through the network search, can also find a store site called “Pelia fashion”. The address described on the site matches the address mentioned in the report.
A legal store called “Belaia Fashion”, which was filmed on television.
link: foreign consumers “know fake and buy fake” also many
In recent years, counterfeiting gangs across national borders across the platform of the phenomenon of increasingly serious. On some overseas social networking sites, there are often “foreign celebrities” advertising luxury brand handbags and watches on their personal social accounts. Behind the ads, there may be a black industrial chain that sells fake goods across borders.
On November 8, last year, Chinese and US police jointly successfully cracked a huge transnational network sale case, arrested 36 criminal gangs, destroyed 7 fake shops, and seized more than 3000 pieces of bags, watches and other well-known brands. The accumulative total amount of sales is over 100 million yuan.