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Huge Customs Sweep Nets 80 Mil. in Counterfeit Goods

US ICE Agents
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Santa wasn’t the only one busy during the holiday season, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) was busy breaking up hundreds of counterfeitting rings across the US.

From November 1 to December 16th,  ICE, along with Mexican officials, seized more than 327,000 counterfeit items from a wide variety of sources.  From the ICE report:

including toys, cell phones and chargers, handbags, DVDs, perfume, integrated circuits, wallets, computer software, and sports jerseys. Thirty-three people were arrested and charged with trafficking in counterfeit goods.

Ironically, no arrests were made of counterfeitting individuals in Mexico.   All told, the operation called Holiday Hoax netted over 76.8 million dollars worth of fake goods.  Most were being sold at flea markets, some by street vendors, but most were intercepted at points of entry or the border.  US officials estimate such fraudulently manufactured or knock off goods put a significant dent in US sales during the holidays.  And the worst part?  They never come with a warranty!

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