Customs and Border Protection agents at the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach have seized 14,806 fake Nike sneakers, NBC Los Angeles reports.
The sneakers were discovered during an enforcement exam, when two containers from China were mysteriously marked 'napkins' in an attempt to pass through the nation's largest seaport. In the containers were mostly knockoff Air Jordans, which were confirmed counterfeit by experts and the trademark owner. U.S. Customs and Border Protection conducted the operation in cooperation with the Apparel, Footwear and Textiles Center of Excellence.
In total, the counterfeit sneakers would carry a suggested retail price of $2.24 million if they were authentic. Pairs such as the Off-White x Air Jordan 1 pictured above fetch as much as $6,000 on the resale market.
"Counterfeit brand-name shoes is a multi-million dollar criminal industry," said LA/Long Beach Port Director LaFonda Sutton-Burke. "The trafficking of these items is extremely lucrative and becomes more profitable in markets involving successful and popular products." The CBP also links illegal goods trade to smuggling and funding criminal operations.
More on this story as it develops.