Counterfeit Gucci handbags were among many counterfeit items U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Chicago intercepted in January. | Provided Photo

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers last month seized nearly $3 million worth of counterfeit goods shipped to the Chicago area, some of which were headed to McHenry County.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at an Express Consignment Operations (ECO) hub near O’Hare seized a shipment on January 31 that was arriving from Israel containing over $713,000 worth of counterfeit Cartier, Louis Vuitton, and Versace bracelets, rings and necklaces.

During the month of January, Chicago CBP averaged at least one shipment a day of counterfeit goods.

Officers at the ECO and Chicago’s International Mail Facility (IMF) seized a total of 29 shipments worth approximately $2.88 million.

The shipments were heading to various cities throughout the United States, including Joliet, Lake in the Hills and Chicago.

Officers found counterfeit shoes, wallets, designer apparel, handbags, jewelry and more.

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“These are significant seizures for CBP, but unfortunately, CBP officers see counterfeit shipments like this every day,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Director of Field Operations-Chicago.

“I’m extremely proud of these officers’ determination in stopping illicit shipments, and our commitment to protecting the American economy,” Sutton-Burke said.

All these counterfeit shipments were arriving from various countries: China, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Russia, the Philippines, Thailand, Mexico and Israel.

Jewelry, including rings necklaces, bracelets, and watches, was the most common item found.

Counterfeit designer handbags and apparel were also prevalent in the shipments.

“This is just another example of the work our officers do to protects consumers and the U.S. economy,” said Shane Campbell, Area Port Director-Chicago.

“Our officers are at the frontline protecting the U.S. economy and guarding against charlatans making money by selling fake merchandise,” Campbell said.

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U.S. consumers spend more than $100 billion every year on intellectual property rights infringing goods, falling victim to approximately 20% of the counterfeits that are illegally sold worldwide, according to the CBP.