LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Customs inspectors at Los Angeles International Airport seized about 5,400 counterfeit M.A.C. makeup brushes arriving from China, officials said Monday.

The merchandise with a combined “domestic value” of $22,488 was seized in five shipments at an air cargo express consignment location between Jan. 20 and Feb. 11, said Jaime Ruiz of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The items — M.A.C. is a boutique brand of Estee Lauder — collectively had a combined “suggested retail price” of $112,500, Ruiz said.

“The illegal trade of unsafe counterfeit imports is harmful to U.S. consumers and the economy,” said Carlos Martel, CBP Acting Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles.

Customs officials say the trading of illegitimate goods is often linked to and provides funding for various other criminal enterprises.

In 2009, 14,841 seizures of counterfeit and pirated goods with a domestic value of $270.7 million were intercepted at U.S. ports of entry.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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