Maryland woman caught sneaking $500,000 worth of counterfeit clothes at Virginia airport

A Maryland woman brought home more than a few souvenirs from her recent trip to Asia, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reports.

Instead, she packed her 12 bags full of 298 counterfeit items of clothing, including scarves, hats, shoes and jewelry. The items bore brand names including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry, Prada and Gianni Versace and were collectively valued at more than $500,000 if genuine, CBP said.

Officers took the items after the woman landed at Washington Dulles International Airport on April 10, CBP said. The Laurel native said, both verbally and in writing, that she only came home with six bags from her trip to Thailand.

However, when her bags were searched, officers discovered and detained the items. CBP import specialists later confirmed the items were counterfeit and assessed the carriage at a retail price of $509,431.

The shipment was seized on May 24 and the woman’s name has not yet been released as she has not been criminally charged, CBP said.

Earlier this month, officers seized more than $2 million worth of fake designer clothes in Port of Virginia and last year they seized more than $1 million in counterfeit items of two women who arrived from Qatar. Still, the agency says it rarely sees such large foreclosures.

“The international trade in counterfeit consumer goods is illegal,” said Daniel Escobedo, CBP Regional Director for the Washington, DC Regional Port. “It steals revenue from brand owners, steals government tax revenue, funds transnational criminal organizations, and unregulated products potentially threaten the health and safety of American consumers.

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