LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A shipment of 30,300 counterfeit Lacoste sunglasses from China was seized at the Los Angeles/Long Beach port complex, customs officials said Wednesday.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and import specialists seized the shipment with a estimated street value of $48,000 on September 15.
If the sunglasses had genuine Lacoste trademark, the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the shipment would have been $4.5 million.
CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles Todd C. Owen said the bust is just the latest in an ongoing theft of U.S. intellectual property that “poses a serious threat to the vitality of our nation’s economy
In addition to damaging the sales of local and legitimate manufacturers, counterfeit sunglasses could be more likely to break or cause injury by shattering, and may not provide adequate UV protection.
The seizure comes as the CBP marks a record-breaking year back in 2010 for trade seizures with a domestic value of 863 busts exceeding $34 million – a 42 percent increase in seizures from 2009.