Houston CBP nabs fake Apple AirPods, Nintendo consoles

Customs and Border Protection (CBP officers working at the Houston Seaport seized thousands of counterfeit Apple AirPods and Nintendo video game consoles in the build up to Christmas.

The shipment of counterfeit electronics would have a domestic value of over $2.6m and a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of over $6.5m, had they been genuine, according to the agency.

Officers found the knockoffs in a shipment of goods arriving from China, which was selected for inspection. When they opened the shipment, they discovered packages of AirPods that were suspected to be fake, a view which was confirmed after they examined by CBP's electronics import specialists.

Once the verdict came in, CBP seized the shipment containing 50,000 fake AirPods and 920 fake Nintendo video game consoles for intellectual property right (IPR) and trademark violations.

From images supplied by CBP the counterfeits seem to be lookalikes of Apple AirPods 2, rather than direct copies, and . They came in various colours, while Apple's devices are only available in white. At the time of writing, similar models were widely found on sale online for as little as $10-$20.

In fiscal 2020, CBP officers seized over 3,000 consumer electronics with a MSRP value over $162 million.

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