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On January 28, 2021 U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the Port of Cincinnati seized 85 watches deemed to be counterfeit by trade experts in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The watches originated from a plastic goods company in Hong Kong, transited through a freight forwarder in Saudi Arabia, and were ultimately destined to an apartment in New York City. All of them displayed the protected Rolex trademark. The total declared value was listed as $402, but had the 85 watches been real the cumulative manufacturer’s suggested retail price would have been $5,844,500.

Sold in underground outlets and on third party e-commerce websites, counterfeit commodities fund smugglers and members of organized crime. Consumers often believe they are buying a genuine product but soon realize the item is substandard and potentially dangerous.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Trade experts protects the intellectual property rights of American businesses through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights enforcement program, that safeguards from unfair competition and counterfeits.

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Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie mentioned:

“Consumers should be aware that if a known high-value brand is being offered for an unusually low price, it could very well be fake. U.S. Customs and Border Protection encourages the use of reputable vendors for your valuable purchases. Our officers are dedicated to preventing counterfeiters from defrauding consumers and legitimate businesses.”