Published On: Sat, Oct 13th, 2018

Pittsburgh: Border patrol busts DVD counterfeit ring from Hong Kong

Fans of Showtime’s “Shameless,” HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” and CBS’s “Big Bang Theory” might find it difficult to find knockoffs of the latest seasons at their local Pittsburgh area flea markets after U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers recently seized more than 250 DVDs and DVD sets.

The counterfeit DVDs, shipped from Hong Kong, have a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of about $19,000, if authentic.

CBP officers initially detained seven shipments of DVDs, which were concealed within courier packages manifested as learning materials, plastic cases, packing boxes and office supplies, during September.

CBP officers and trade specialists submitted samples to CBP’s Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising Centers for Excellence and Expertise (CEE), the agency’s trade experts, who determined the DVDs to be counterfeit.

“Detecting Intellectual Property Rights violations is an important part of Customs and Border Protection’s trade enforcement mission,” said Casey Durst, CBP Director of Field Operations in Baltimore.  “The manufacture of counterfeit goods such as these DVDs robs legitimate businesses of revenue and often times the proceeds from their sale end up in the hands of those that wish us harm, funding their illicit activity.  CBP officers and trade specialists will continue to work closely with our trade and law enforcement partners to identify and seize counterfeit merchandise that could potentially harm U.S. consumers and businesses.”

photo Wset10

CBP protects consumers and businesses every day through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement program.

On a typical day in 2017, CBP officers seized $3.3 million worth of products with IPR violations. Learn more about what CBP did during “A Typical Day” in 2017.

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, the number of IPR seizures increased 8 percent to 34,143 from 31,560 in FY 2016.  The total estimated MSRP of the seized goods, had they been genuine, decreased to $1.2 billion from $1.38 billion in FY 2016. Read more 2017 IPR Enforcement Statistics.

As a result of CBP enforcement efforts, ICE Homeland Security Investigations agents arrested 457 individuals, obtained 288 indictments, and received 242 convictions related to intellectual property crimes in 2017.

If you have information concerning counterfeit merchandise illegally imported into the United States, CBP encourages you to submit an anonymous report through .

CBP officers inspect travelers and cargo entering the United States and enforces U.S. laws, including immigration, illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, prohibited agriculture, counterfeit consumer goods, and other products to assure that global tourism and trade remains safe and strong.

CBP’s border security mission is led at ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations.  Please visit CBP Ports of Entry to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders.

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