US law enforcement officials have seized a record $13.6 million in fake goods and arrested more than 20 people in a nationwide crackdown on the selling of counterfeit NFL merchandise.US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), US Customs and Border Protection, US Postal Inspection Service and state and city police departments targeted warehouses, flea markets, online websites, shipping ports and retail stores, John Morton, director of ICE, said Thursday as the league’s championship showcase the Super Bowl approached.
“The Super Bowl is one of the nation’s most exciting events. organised criminals are preying on that excitement, ripping consumers off with counterfeit merchandise and stealing from the American businesses who have worked hard to build a trusted brand,” Morton said at a news conference at the New Orleans Convention centre.
“The sale of counterfeit jerseys and other sports items undermines the legitimate economy, takes jobs away from Americans and fuels crime overseas,” he said.
Officials also seized a record 313 websites and arrested a total of 23 people in the operation which is ongoing ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl 47, in which the San Francisco 49ers will take on the Baltimore Ravens at the Superdome.
Fake jerseys, ball caps, T-shirts, jackets and other souvenirs are among the counterfeit merchandise and clothing seized.
Copyright (2013) AFP. All rights reserved.
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