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$1B Counterfeit Designer Bust: US History’s Largest

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Clear Facts

  • Federal authorities and the NYPD seized over $1 billion worth of counterfeit designer goods in the largest bust in U.S. history.
  • The raid took place in a Manhattan storage facility, where 219,000 fake luxury products were confiscated.
  • Two men, Adama Sow and Abdulai Jalloh, were arrested and charged with trafficking in counterfeit goods, facing up to 10 years in prison.

Federal authorities and the NYPD have seized thousands of knock-off designer handbags and shoes with a street value of just over $1 billion, making it the largest bust in U.S. history, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced Wednesday.

The massive raid took place inside a storage facility in Manhattan, New York, where around 219,000 counterfeit bags, clothes, shoes, and other luxury products were confiscated. Authorities said that the total estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of the fake goods tops $1.03 billion, although the street value of such counterfeit goods is typically much lower than the MSRP.

Photos released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office show shelves and a floor area jammed full of faux designer bags counterfeiting various brands, while another area is completely brimming with more bags as some clothes hang from pipes. In another photo, a storage area can be seen full of dozens of unopened boxes on pallets.

“The seizures announced today consist of merchandise with over a billion dollars in estimated retail value, the largest-ever seizure of counterfeit goods in U.S. history,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said.

Two men, Adama Sow, 38, of Queens, and Abdulai Jalloh, 48, of Manhattan, were arrested in relation to the bust on Wednesday and have been charged with trafficking in counterfeit goods, according to an unsealed indictment. They face a maximum of 10 years in prison.

Authorities said the duo used the storage facility as a distribution center for the massive amounts of knock-off designer goods. Sow and Jalloh ran a large-scale counterfeit goods trafficking operation out of the storage facility from January 2023 through Oct. 20, according to the allegations contained in the indictment and other publicly available information.

They also allegedly trafficked counterfeit goods out of an offsite location in Manhattan, authorities said.

“The trafficking of counterfeit goods is anything but a victimless crime because it harms legitimate businesses, governments, and consumers,” NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban said. “Today’s indictments show how seriously the NYPD and our federal partners take this offense, and we will continue to work hard to hold accountable anyone who seeks to benefit by selling such items on the black market.”

Clear Thoughts

In the largest counterfeit bust in U.S. history, the NYPD and federal authorities have seized over $1 billion worth of fake designer goods, sending a strong message to those attempting to profit from this illegal trade. This massive operation not only highlights the scale of counterfeit goods trafficking but also the detrimental impact on legitimate businesses, governments, and consumers. As authorities ramp up efforts to tackle this issue, it is crucial to recognize that the fight against counterfeit goods is far from over. It is up to us, as consumers, to remain vigilant and support legitimate businesses in order to protect our economy and ensure quality products.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. robert

    November 16, 2023 at 6:35 pm

    ALL THAT MAN MADE BULL SHIT ISENT WORTH 1 BILLION DOLLARS.

  2. Joni Gavett

    November 21, 2023 at 6:57 am

    Whar will they do with all this merchandise ????

  3. Colleen

    November 21, 2023 at 11:31 am

    Thank God I’ve never been snooty enough to want “designer goods” and I’ve had a Walmart handbag for over 10 years. As long as it holds my stuff I don’t care if it’s fancy. I don’t need to impress people who think they’re somebody because they have a fancy handbag or jewelry.

  4. Peter E Brock

    November 21, 2023 at 3:22 pm

    Great to see these criminals arrested and charged. The damaged caused to those who created the original designs is massive. It Doesn’t matter whether you like or “approve” of “designer named goods” the fact is they stole the intellectual and aesthetic property of others and deserve to be punished.

  5. Glenn LeMaster

    November 21, 2023 at 8:33 pm

    Ever notice how many of these criminals have FOREIGN NAMES? If they’re not CITIZENS, DEPORT THEM!

    • Colleen

      November 22, 2023 at 11:29 am

      Glen you are so right! I say that about the “visa” holders that come to this country and don’t follow our laws and start protests like we’re seeing now. Goodbye to bad rubbish!

  6. EMMA

    January 18, 2024 at 12:02 pm

    TRUE BAD SAD, THESE PEOPLE COME HERE, NEVER APPRECIATE HOW LUCKY THEY ARE. JUST RUIN OUR GREAT COUNTRY. DEPORT THEM ALL. CLOSE OUR BORDER FOR GOOD. LITTLE TO LATE AFTER BIDEN LET IN 13 MILLION CRIMINALS ALREADY. ARREST MAYORKAS ASAP.

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