The United States Customs and Border Protection officers have impounded 14,806 pairs of fake Nike shoes that, if genuine, would’ve been worth a total of more than $2 million (N721 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.
According to CNN, United States residents go wild over these shoes. 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 [such as fake Nike] 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, according to CNN report.
“The trafficking of these items [such as fake Nike] 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.