Largest-ever US fakes seizure nets $1bn in luxury knockoffs

Federal authorities in the US say they have intercepted more than $1bn-worth of counterfeit luxury goods in a crackdown in New York, the largest bust of its kind in US history.

The haul included 219,000 counterfeit bags, clothes, shoes, and other luxury products mimicking brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci, said the Department of Justice. Two people have been indicted in connection with the investigation – Adam Sow (38) and Abdulai Jalloh (48), also known as Troy Banks – charged with trafficking in counterfeit goods.

The pair are accused of running a large-scale counterfeit goods operations out of a storage facility located in Manhattan, and another location linked to Jalloh used to traffic the illicit items, worth $1.03bn at manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP) – although their street value would be significantly less.

“The trafficking of counterfeit goods is anything but a victimless crime because it harms legitimate businesses, governments, and consumers,” said New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Edward Caban.

He added that the indictments “show how seriously the NYPD and our federal partners take this offence. And we will continue to work hard to hold accountable anyone who seeks to benefit by selling such items on the black market.”

Sow and Jalloh are facing maximum sentences of 10 years in prison if they are convicted on the trafficking charges.

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