LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Customs agents have seized hundreds of counterfeit Rolex and other designer brand watches at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), authorities said Tuesday.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and import specialists assigned to the airport seized 215 watches bearing counterfeit Rolex, Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Omega registered trademarks on August 8, according to CBP.
If genuine, the merchandise, which arrived from China via air cargo, would have an estimated retail value of more than $1.2 million, authorities said.
CBP officers discovered the counterfeit merchandise after inspecting the 68-pound shipment manifested as “watches” with a declared value of $173, authorities said.
“This seizure of these trade-marked watches is testament to our officers’ vigilance in protecting the intellectual property rights of manufacturers and retailers,” stated Todd C. Owen, Director of the Los Angeles Field Operations office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “It is just another example of the caliber of the CBP officers in performing their day-to-day duties.”
Approximately $1.26 billion worth of counterfeit goods originating overseas were seized by CBP in 2012.
With an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $186 million, watches and jewelry ranked as a top-five commodity seized by CBP in fiscal year 2012, according to officials. In the same period, watches and jewelry represented 8 percent of the total number of seizures by CBP nationwide.