Police seize $35M in counterfeit goods, arrest 18 in Lower Manhattan

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Thursday, September 14, 2023
Police seize millions of dollars in counterfeit goods in Manhattan
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After receiving numerous complaints from the community, police arrested 18 people and seized counterfeit goods with an estimated value of $35 million. Josh Einiger has more.

LOWER MANHATTAN, New York (WABC) -- Police announced the results of a massive counterfeit goods bust in Lower Manhattan, which included hundreds of knockoff luxury items, being sold illegally.

The bust took place in the evening on Wednesday, September 6, along Canal Street from Church Street to Broadway, and Broadway from Walker Street to Howard Street.

The stretch of souvenir shops on the edge of Chinatown is a mecca for tourists looking to buy a piece of New York.

"This is an area here where the sellers are very condensed, you have numerous sellers blocking the entrances to numerous places of business," NYPD Deputy Chief Timoth Baudette said.

After receiving numerous complaints from the community, police made their move, arresting 18 people and seizing counterfeit goods large enough in quantity to fill three flatbed trucks.

Based on the value of the real items the knockoffs were imitating, cops estimated the value of this bust at $35 million.

A majority of the suspects were charged with trademark counterfeiting.

NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell posted video of the bust on his Instagram.

One store manager in the area was afraid to show his face on camera for fear of retribution from the illegal vendors who set up shop outside. He says they routinely harass his customers when they decline to buy one of their fake bags.

He says he's glad they're gone, at least for tonight.

Police say they will continue patrolling this stretch of Canal Street, near Broadway to try to prevent them from coming back.


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