CBP seizes $10m in fake Rolex watches in 48 hours

Customs officers in Indianapolis have seized two shipments of counterfeit Rolex watches en route from Hong Kong that – if genuine – would have been worth $10.1m.

The shipments, which contained 460 watches, were headed to residence in Brooklyn, New York, from a vendor which has been linked in the past to fraudulent activity, prompting an inspection by Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

During the month of April, CBP officers in Indianapolis have seized three shipments of counterfeit watches, that if real would have been worth $20m.

"No one buys a luxury brand watch expecting it to fail or fall apart," said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, Chicago director of field operations at CBP.

"As consumers increasingly purchase from online or third party vendors, our officers are at the frontline to guard against defrauders expecting to make money selling fake merchandise."

Last year there were more than 3,300 seizures of watches and jewellery by CBP, worth $1.18bn million at manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP). 40 per cent of seizures came from China, with around 19 per cent from Hong Kong.

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