Law enforcement officials have cracked a major luxury goods counterfeiting ring in New York and seized “piles” of fake high-end watches, handbags, wallets, and sunglasses as well as videos, computer games, DVDs, and CDs, with an estimated street value of $125 million, says the New York Post and Newsday. The ring operated in a labyrinth of tunnels beneath Broadway between Canal and Howard streets, on the edge of Chinatown.
Among the prestigious brands being knocked off, say the reports, were Rolex, Movado, Gucci, Cartier, TAG Heuer, and Prada.
The May 8 raid, which capped a three-month investigation, occurred at a warehouse between Canal and Howard streets. It started with a tip to the Staten Island police about peddlers taking the Staten Island ferry into Manhattan, Newsday reports.
Eight men and two women were arrested and charged with first-degree trademark counterfeiting, a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. However, according to Newsday, eight were released without bail, while bail for the other two was set between $1,000 and $10,000.