July 5, 2018 500 AM
EL PASO – The passion for World Cup soccer is real. Sometimes the jerseys are not.
As the eyes of the soccer fans are on the games being played in Russia, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in El Paso are closely watching for phony products.
On Thursday CBP officers intercepted four shipments of counterfeit Mexican national team soccer jerseys with an estimated retail value of $66,390. The shipments all originated in Hong Kong and were destined for three El Paso addresses. The products were seized and the investigation is continuing.
Earlier in the week area CBP officers stopped four other shipments worth $47,340. Those shipments included jerseys for Mexico, Germany and Brazil.
“This is not a victimless crime. The theft of intellectual property and trade in counterfeit and pirated goods threatens the economy by harming the competitiveness of legitimate businesses,” said CBP El Paso Director of Field Operations Hector Man-cha. “Counterfeit goods are generally of poor quality and can also pose significant health and safety hazards to consumers depending on the product.”
CBP officers in El Paso have made close to 400 IPR seizures during the current fiscal year. The seized phony goods have a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of more than $3.8 million. Commonly intercepted products in the El Paso area include sports related apparel, make up, cell phones and accessories, sunglasses, jewelry, and footwear.
Fiscal year 2017 was a record year for CBP enforcement activity related to IPR violations. Suspected fraud or illegal trade activity can be reported by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT or at the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center.