French-US operation seizes fake personal care products

cologneA joint operation between French and US customs has netted around half a million dollars-worth of fake and potentially hazardous personal care products.

Operation Bathe and Beaute was conducted between April 8 and May 4 and resulted in the seizure of 76 shipments of suspected counterfeits including 31,000 individual items. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) estimate the haul is worth around $541,000 at retail prices.

It is the fourth joint operation between the CBP and France's Directorate General of Customs and Indirect Taxes (DGDDI) and focused on "personal care products and devices that potentially introduce dangerous chemicals and bacteria to the skin and eyes or burning or electrocution due to non-standardised wiring and ineffectual family planning protection," said the CBP in a statement.

contact lensesProducts seized during the initiative included make-up, condoms, hair removal devices, contact lenses, hair curlers, straighteners and skin cleansing devices. Among the items intercepted was a look-alike of Perry Ellis' 360 cologne and fake Freshlook contact lenses, which are a trademark of Novartis' Ciba Vision unit (see images).

Towards the end of 2013, the CBP and DGDDI also collaborated with Germany's Customs Investigations Bureau (Zollkriminalamt) in an operation that resulted in the seizure of 20,000 zolpidem and 400 carisoprodol pills, both of which are schedule IV controlled substances.

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