Shipment of Watches Worth $28.7 Million Found To Be Fakes
A large load of what were thought to be luxury watches headed into Mexico is now in the hands of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
CBP says the watches had one big problem.
Our Annette Garcia has the story.
At $28,000 each, luxury Audemars Piguet watches promise a hand-crafted attention to detail touch.
Altogether this shipment destined for Mexico would be worth millions.
Except, all of these are fake.
“If they would have been real Audemar they would have been worth 28 point 7 million dollars.”
Import specialists at the world trade bridge recently caught this shipment of over 1,000 counterfeit Audemars.
They were all concealed among another 3,000 watches with no infringements.
Average cargo covering for some pricey imposters.
“A lot of times these goods are so well copied that its hard to differentiate the real one from the imitation.”
Catching the fakes isn’t easy this watch doesn’t have a brand name on it its the design that’s protected.
“It was the actual design of the watch that the import specialists were able to identify were actually protected verses the name.”
Officers able to point out minute details.
“Know how many screws a watch has or how many angles.”
The seizure is the second largest of intellectual property ever caught by Laredo CBP.
Second only to a load of Nikes.
Customs officials say making sure products like these stay off the street not only protect the consumer making the investment but also the companies that invest millions into perfecting their products.
“We are vigilant and always aware of these goods coming in and hopefully put a dent in their illegal businesses as well.”
On a typical day, U.S. Customs officers will process more than 64-thousand truck, rail and sea containers.
Officials say their import specialists are very well trained to catch illegal cargo on any of those vehicles.