While U.S. Customs and Border Protection is “heavily engaged in the whole-of-government response” to the coronavirus, it’s still on the lookout for counterfeit goods and unlawful trade activities, the agency announced Thursday.
On Tuesday, its agents seized eight fake Rolex watches that arrived in a cardboard box as an express parcel sent to a facility near Philadelphia International Airport, said spokesperson Steve Sapp.
If they had been real Rolexes, they would have been worth a total of $100,400, the agency said.
The watches arrived from Hong Kong and were examined March 9 by agents, who detained the shipment because of its quality. They were seized after the agency’s trade experts verified that they were counterfeit.
The watches had been destined for an address in Delaware County, but Sapp declined to elaborate. He said the intended recipient is aware that the agency has the watches and that if the person continues to import counterfeit goods, the agency would investigate. Possible charges include trafficking in counterfeit goods, Sapp said.
Joseph Martella, the agency’s area port director for Philadelphia, said in a statement: “The quality of counterfeit consumer goods, like these fake Rolex watches, is getting better every year, but Customs and Border Protection officers, especially here in Philadelphia, are experts at detecting counterfeit products."
China remains the primary origin of seized counterfeit goods, the agency said.
It was the third significant counterfeit shipment that customs agents recently seized in Philadelphia. On March 10, the agency seized 32 counterfeit designer-brand handbags worth a total of $113,000 that had arrived in Philadelphia in an express delivery parcel from Turkey destined for Atlanta.
Last month, the agency seized $317,080 in counterfeit designer-brand products while inspecting express delivery parcels near the airport. That shipment, also from Turkey, had been destined for a different address in Delaware County, Sapp said.