$36M in Fake Watches Seized by U.S. Customs

The U.S. Customs Service has seized almost 40,000 counterfeit watches, worth $36 million, during a six-month operation in Los Angeles. It's the largest seizure of fake watches in the agency's history, says Loraine E. Brown, U.S. Customs Special Agent in Charge, Office of Investigations, Los Angeles. In comparison, just over $1 million worth of counterfeit watches were seized in 2000 in the Los Angeles area, where more fake watches are smuggled than in any other U.S. port of entry, say Customs officials. Agents also confiscated thousands of watch parts and presses to assemble them. Most of the watches came from Hong Kong as parts and were put together in the United States, said Customs officials in their June 22 press conference at the Long Beach, Calif., federal building. The watches and parts were seized in three raids since December and have led to federal indictments of three people

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