Some $35 million in counterfeit designer goods – including mounds of knockoff Louis Vuitton and Gucci bags – were seized in a police raid, as cops busted 18 people for allegedly selling the fakes in plain sight on busy Lower Manhattan sidewalks.
Video posted by NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell on social media shows dozens of handbags lined up on top of subway grates, and some assorted wallets, sunglasses and caps on display on tables at the corner of Canal Street and Broadway Wednesday evening as officers worked to dismantle the illicit set-up.
“We received a tremendous amount of complaints about counterfeit goods from the community and from the business owners,” NYPD Inspector William Glynn said in the video. “So as you can see, there is a tremendous amount…and we’re here seizing that, and taking it off the streets.”
The takedown happened along Canal Street from Church Street to Broadway, and on Broadway from Walker Street to Howard Street – on the border of Tribeca and Chinatown, cops said.
It took three NYPD flatbed tow trucks to clear out the knockoff wares, which also included bogus Prada hats and sham Saint Laurent clutches.
“This is an area here where the soldiers are very condensed,” Chief Timothy Baudette said. “We have two or three dozen sellers blocking the entrances to numerous restaurants, places of business.”
Eighteen people were arrested, with most of the charges for trademark counterfeiting, police said.
Commenters on the video of the bust said the illegal sales were “going on in plain sight for years.”
But cops vowed to keep up the enforcement.
“We’re going to continue with the operations,” Baudette said. “Going forward, we’re also going to be posting officers here to try to prevent this setup, so the gentlemen don’t waste their time out here losing their merchandise or getting arrested and so forth.”
SOURCE: New york post