중앙데일리

Airport nabs group with fake goods

Dec 05,2009
Incheon Airport Customs caught a group of Koreans trying to bring in 24 billion won ($20.8 million) worth of fake luxury goods from Shanghai, China intended for sale in the United States, the customs office said yesterday. The size of the shipment and value of the goods are the largest since Incheon International Airport opened in 2001.

According to the agency, three smugglers tried to evade a crackdown in Korean customs by buying fake products in China, labeling them as goods made in central Seoul’s Dongdaemun market and reporting them as exports for Los Angeles. Two Koreans were booked without arrest, while a Korean-American who fled is wanted, according to the customs office. The three tried to take advantage of the fact that it is easier for Korean products to pass through U.S. customs than it is for Chinese products.

The 4,304 items included bootleg watches and bags labeled with 16 different luxury brand names including Rolex, Cartier, Chanel and Coach. The entire shipment weighed two tons.

Also confiscated were 60,000 metal labels inscribed with brand names including Versace and Coach. Incheon Customs said they were for use on fake bags to be made in the United States. The labels would have made it possible to make fake bags worth hundreds of billions of won, the agency added.

“We were able to clamp down on an immense network trying to ship fake goods through various investigation measures including cooperation with U.S. investigative teams,” said a spokesman with the customs office.

After being confiscated, fake goods are either burned or destroyed with hammers en masse. To prevent customs workers from secretly taking them, the agency makes it a rule to partially damage fake goods immediately. Also, some clothes and shoes are donated to the needy after the labels are removed.


By Seo Ji-eun [spring@joongang.co.kr]



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