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There are $37 Million in fake Shoes,What Does the Government Do?
Posted On 10/25/2021 09:04:30 by johnliang

This is where replica designer shoes die. This is the waiting period organized by the Department of Homeland Security. Here, the fake shoes completed the final step, rolled into a paper shredder, and chewed the entire pair of shoes into corn flake-sized pieces. I can't tell you exactly where the purgatory is—because the government won't tell me—but imagine an unremarkable warehouse somewhere in Texas, exuding the harmful oily smell of replica designer shoes. Currently waiting and waiting are 1,800 pairs of counterfeit Dior x Air Jordan 1 Low shoes seized by Customs and Border Protection at the Dallas-Fort Worth Port of Entry on July 17.

They should be golf balls, worth 3,000 kilograms. At least, that's what the shipping documents say. They should have traveled from Hong Kong to Mexico. Instead, they got stuck in Texas, where CBP officials inspected the shipment and found 60 boxes filled with fake Dior x Air Jordans and Adidas Yeezys. Valuation of high-end Jordan shoes at a retail price of US$2,000 per pair, the agency believes that the total value of these fraudulent goods exceeds US$4.3 million.

Their goal now is to make them worthless, so they become paper shredders. Soon, the impounded property contractor will destroy the shoes. Somewhere in Texas, when the confetti of synthetic leather adorns the air, the clanking machine will rattle of death.

What red flag determines their destiny? How skilled is the government in distinguishing replica designer shoes from real shoes? In order to find the answer, I turned to Raul Orona, the chief import and export officer of CBP in Dallas-Fort Worth. Although I incorrectly referred to him as a "Corona officer" at the beginning of the conversation, he still Answered these questions politely.
After a depression like this, what will happen to shoes?
Through the seizure procedure, we notify all parties that they have the opportunity to defend whether their goods are legal or not. Then, through due process, if it is found that they have no right to own these sports shoes, or have no right to import, or pass or obtain them, they will be destroyed.

How are they destroyed? Do you have a wood chipper to throw them in? Do you have a campfire?
They are usually chopped into corn flakes. There are different ways.
Do you have experts to consult with your team, who understand the appearance of fake shoes?
Oh yes. Our officials have received training. We have representatives from major shoe designers to provide training for our officials and our import experts. This showed us-showed all officials what to look for compared to the counterfeit goods they encountered, and what the legitimate product looked like.

They go to some kind of sneaker school to figure out these things?
Well, this is usually internal training. They will come to us. They will come to our office and they will provide samples of counterfeit shoes and the appearance of genuine shoes.
Do you personally know some details that indicate that the shoes are fake or inferior?
They delved into some of the secret things they put in their shoes. They are a lot like trade secrets. We cannot disclose what they share with us as manufacturers, but one of the signs is that most counterfeit shoes smell like glue. You can smell the used super glue. You can't smell that most shoes are made of legal genuine leather.

Yes, it is a wonderful smell for people like me. So you are saying that the things that the brand puts in the shoes have some industry trade secrets to confirm that they are authentic?
Yes, sir. Some major footwear [companies], yes, they have some type of code embedded in the shoes and what they have instructed us to look for.
How long did you realize that there was a problem with this shipment?
Our officers are well trained and experienced in identifying suspicious cargo. In this particular shipment, it is weight. More than 3,000 kilograms of golf balls were shipped to a suspicious address in Mexico. Therefore, this behavior raised some flags. If it is actually a golf ball, you will tend to see the golf ball being sent to major golf manufacturers or elsewhere. But this caused some suspicion, so we finally put the goods on hold and went out to check. Only then did we reveal that these were counterfeit shoes.

How often have you seen these replica designer shoes worn like this?
We usually see them, for example, one or two pairs pass, or even, I think we have a few hundred pairs before we have a bigger seizure. But 3,000 kilograms of shoes is definitely an eye-opener. Don't see it often, let's put it this way. About ten years later, e-commerce began to rise.



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