Police seize $1bn worth of fake designer goods in New York

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Authorities in New York have seized more than $1bn (£803m) worth of fake products, said to be the largest haul of counterfeit goods in US history.

Officials say they seized roughly 219,000 fake handbags, shoes and other luxury items in the massive haul.

Two men have been charged with trafficking the goods, which police say was done out of a storage locker in Manhattan.

If convicted, they face up to 10 years in prison.

“The trafficking of counterfeit goods is anything but a victimless crime,” New York police commissioner Edward A Caban said in a statement. “It harms legitimate businesses, governments, and consumers.”

The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York arrested two men – Adama Sow and Abdulai Jalloh – on Wednesday.

The pair ran “large-scale counterfeit goods trafficking operations” from January 2023 until late October, according to the US Attorney’s Office.

Photos released by authorities show rooms packed with knock-off luxury bags, wallets, sunglasses and more, which amounted to an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of approximately $1.03bn.

Authorities note that the street value of counterfeit goods typically is significantly lower than the estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price.

Law enforcement seized over 83,000 counterfeit items from the premises controlled by Mr Sow, estimated at more than $502m (£404m).

A search of the premises controlled by Mr Jalloh resulted in the seizure of over 50,000 counterfeit items, estimated at more than $237m (190m).

In September, the NYPD seized $35m (£28m) worth of counterfeit goods and arrested 18 people.

Lower Manhattan, specifically along Canal Street, has been home to a vast number of counterfeit goods sellers for years.

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