Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD), and other law enforcement seized more than $18 million in counterfeit contact lenses and merchandise during the execution of several search warrants in eight different municipalities of Puerto Rico.
When federal search warrants at stores were executed, they seized 4,000 counterfeit Fresh Look contact lenses by Novartis, with an estimated manufacturer’s retail price (MSRP) of $200,000, along with 200,000 pieces of counterfeit merchandise from companies like Coach, Gucci, Ray Ban, Michael Kors, Rolex, Bulgari, Hublot, Nautica, Tous, Tiffany & Co., and Nike, among others. Agents also seized 25,000 counterfeit watches with an approximate MSRP of more than $3 million and 200 pairs of sneakers with an approximate MSRP of $32,000.
The total MSRP of seized merchandise was approximately $18 million.
“The illegal importation and sale of counterfeit goods is a significant problem that affects our economy, impacts American jobs and innovation, puts the public’s health and safety at risk and at times threatens our national security,” said Angel Melendez, acting special agent in charge for HSI San Juan. “Consumers should know that if they buy pirated and unlicensed products, they are hurting legitimate businesses and they may also be facilitating criminal activity.”