Tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of counterfeit Nike Air Jordan sneakers were identified by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at Dulles International Airport in Virginia, 26 miles west of downtown Washington, D.C.
The sneakers arrived from Hong Kong in seven boxes Dec. 15 and were headed for an address in Alexandria, Virginia, according to CBP. The boxes were listed as auto parts, so CBP officers suspected the sneakers inside were counterfeit.
"In this case, these items obviously did not match the description being shipped," U.S. Customs and Border Protection Assistant Port Director Patrick E. Orender Jr. said.
Nike verified the sneakers as counterfeit, and CBP completed the seizure Jan. 2.
The 400 pairs of various fake Mikes would have had a value of $54,715 at the suggested retail price if they were authentic, CBP said.
“Customs and Border Protection will continue to work closely with our trade and consumer safety partners to seize counterfeit and inferior merchandise, especially those products that pose potential harm to American consumers, negatively impact legitimate business brand reputations, and potentially steal jobs from U.S. workers,” CBP Acting Port Director for the Area Port of Washington, D.C., Daniel Mattina said.
Arrests in cases of this size are rare, according to a CBP public affairs officer.
CBP said officers seize about $4 million in fake merchandise every day, and it can be dangerous. Officers said in one shipment they confiscated goods that were radioactive. Furniture intercepted in the past had hazardous material in the product, Orender said.
According to the CBP, the most common fake goods are clothing (20 percent), electronics (16 percent), footwear (12 percent), jewelry (11 percent) and pharmaceuticals (8 percent).