A large shipment of popular retro Nike shoes turned out to be counterfeits.
US Customs and Border Protection officers seized 14,806 pairs of fake Nike shoes that, if genuine, would’ve been worth a total of more than $2 million.
The shoes arrived from China at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport in containers marked as “napkins.” What was inside weren’t napkins at all, but instead shoes meant to look like pairs of special-edition Nikes.
Agents found the coveted classic styles of Air Jordan 1 Off-White; Air Jordan 12; Air Jordan 1 in blue, black, red and white; Air Jordan 11 and Air Max ’97.
These shoes are ones people go wild over. Shoe collectors are sometimes willing to pay up to $2,000 for a pair of legitimate ones.
If you’re looking for your next pair, however, you might want to double check before you buy. Customs and Border Protection said consumers are likely to see fake Nikes online.
“Counterfeit brand-name shoes is a multi-million dollar criminal industry,” LaFonda Sutton-Burke, CBP port director of the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport, said in a news release. “The trafficking of these items is extremely lucrative and becomes more profitable in markets involving successful and popular products.”
The trade in illegitimate goods is associated with smuggling and other criminal activities, and often funds criminal enterprises, Customs and Border Patrol said.