NYC Record-Breaking Bust: $1 Billion in Counterfeit Luxury Goods Seized
New York City authorities executed a record-breaking bust, seizing more than $1 billion worth of counterfeit luxury goods.
New York City authorities have executed a record-breaking bust, seizing over $1 billion of counterfeit luxury goods, including faux designer handbags and shoes. The fakes were found in a Manhattan storage facility, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York on Nov. 15.
Approximately 219,000 counterfeit items, including bags, clothes, and shoes, were confiscated in what U.S. Attorney Damian Williams called “the largest-ever seizure of counterfeit goods in U.S. history.” The goods, with an estimated retail value of $1.03 billion, were found in a New York City storage facility allegedly used by defendants Adama Sow and Abdulai Jalloh as a distribution center for their large-scale trafficking operation.
Williams stated, “As alleged, the defendants used a Manhattan storage facility as a distribution center for massive amounts of knockoff designer goods. The seizures announced today consist of merchandise with over a billion dollars in estimated retail value, the largest-ever seizure of counterfeit goods in U.S. history. This is a testament to the commitment of this Office and its law enforcement partners to combat counterfeit trafficking in New York City.”
The charges against Sow and Jalloh include trafficking in counterfeit goods and carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Allegedly running their operations from January 2023 to Oct. 20, 2023, the defendants are accused of trafficking goods out of the Manhattan storage facility and an offsite location.
Photographs released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office depict storage units within the facility piled high with handbags and shoes, emphasizing the scale of the operation. Images of boxes containing seized counterfeit goods provide a visual testament to the extent of the illicit operation.
NYPD Commissioner Edward A. Caban emphasized the impact of counterfeit goods trafficking on legitimate businesses, governments, and consumers, stating, “The trafficking of counterfeit goods is anything but a victimless crime because it harms legitimate businesses, governments, and consumers. Today’s indictments show how seriously the NYPD and our federal partners take this offense. And we will continue to work hard to hold accountable anyone who seeks to benefit by selling such items on the black market.”