Federal officials in the US have raided a warehouse in Manhattan and seized counterfeit goods worth $1 billion.
The Attorney’s Office of Southern District of New York confimed the raid in a release, saying it’s the largest-ever counterfeit goods seizure in US history.
Two men were arrested in the operation in which fake handbags, shoes, clothes and other accessories were found stored away in boxes and on cluttered shelves in units at Gotham Mini Storage, the attorney’s office further said in the release.
About 219,000 faux items were recovered in the joint investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations agents and the New York Police Department (NYPD).
They were identified as Adama Sow and Abdulai Jalloh. The federal agents said they allegedly ran the black-market operation out of the storage facility from January through October.
Jalloh is also accused of peddling counterfeit goods out of another off-site location in Manhattan, prosecutors said.
“As alleged, the defendants used a Manhattan storage facility as a distribution centre for massive amounts of knock-off designer goods. The seizures announced today consist of merchandise with over a billion dollars in estimated retail value, the largest-ever seizure of counterfeit goods in US history,” US Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement.
Sow, 38, of Queens and Jalloh, 48, are each charged with trafficking in counterfeit goods, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, said ABC News.
“Today’s ground-breaking announcement underscores the unwavering commitment of HSI New York in the fight against intellectual property theft and serves as a testament to the dedication of our team and partner agencies, who have tirelessly pursued justice, culminating in the largest-ever seizure of this kind,” Special Agent in Charge Ivan Arvelo of Homeland Security Investigations was quoted as saying by the outlet.Share this story to friends