CBP seizes fake NBA championship rings worth $560k

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers have seized 28 counterfeit National Basketball Association (NBA) rings at Los Angeles International Airport.

The value of the rings, if genuine, is estimated at $560,000. The shipment included designs from 11 teams: The Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors.

NBA championship rings are presented to the winning team's players, coaches, and members of the executive front office, and are generally made of gold and silver, and genuine rings can sell for $15,000 to $20,000. However, there’s a thriving trade in cheap knock-offs online.

CBP said the rings were discovered in a wooden box while examining a shipment from China. Last year, a shipment of more than 100 authorised Super Bowl replica rings was discovered in Philadelphia in a shipment from Hong Kong.

“Scammers take advantage of collectors and pro-basketball fans desiring to obtain a piece of sports history”, said Carlos Martel, CBP director of field operations in Los Angeles. “This seizure illustrates how CBP officers and import specialists protect not only trademarks, but most importantly, the American consumer.”

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