CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have been praised for a major bust near O’Hare Airport on Sunday.
Public Affairs Officer Steve Bansbach said officers at the International Mail Facility near the airport intercepted two separate shipments from Thailand that were headed to Alabama.
“Inside, officers found 451 pieces of counterfeit jewelry and apparel,” Bansbach said.
If genuine, the shipments would have been worth nearly $700,000.
“Trademark owners actually train our officers on what to look for,” Bansbach said. “We know what security risk and measures we need to look for when a shipment comes in as far as markings and where it’s coming from.”
Bansbach said that training is necessary and officers are always busy.
Last year, CBP seized nearly $3 billion worth of phony merchandise.
“What we need to tell consumers is make sure you do your homework,” Bansbach said. “We cannot stress that you cannot bring these things in, because all we’re going to do is seize it, we’re going to put it aside, and if you keep doing it, eventually it’s going to lead to an investigation on you.”
He said consumers also need to understand that when these counterfeit items are available, it’s not a deal.
“They’re saying that this is a real, authentic item, and they’re jacking up the price — and you’re paying for nothing but garbage,” said Bansbach.
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