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U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the LA/Long Beach, California Seaport, in coordination with import specialists assigned to the Apparel, Footwear and Textiles Center of Excellence recently seized 14,806 pairs of counterfeit Nike shoes. If genuine, the seized shoes would have an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $2,247,680.

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The shoes were discovered while conducting an enforcement exam on a shipment arriving from China. The shoes, which arrived in two containers, were mis-declared as “napkins” in a clear attempt to disguise the illicit cargo.

Import specialists and the trademark owner confirmed that the shoes were in violation of Nike’s Air Jordan 1 Off-White, Air Jordan 12, Air Jordan 1 (blue, black, red, white), Air Jordan 11, Air Max ’97 protected designs and trademarks.

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Carlos C. Martel, Customs and Border Protection Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles says:

“Intellectual property theft is a crime that leads to lost revenue for American industry, a loss of American jobs, and often poses a threat to public health and safety. Customs and Border Protection is the front line that protects American ingenuity, without any doubt, one of the most valuable assets of our country.”

These special edition Nike and retro designs are highly coveted by collectors and sport shoes enthusiasts. A legitimate pair can potentially sell for $1,500 dollars and up to $2,000 online. Consumers shopping online are eventually likely to encounter fraudulent sellers.