A massive counterfeit sneaker operation in New York and New Jersey, which produced millions of dollars worth of fake Nikes and Air Jordans, has reportedly been shut down.
According to the New York Post, five accused fake-shoe traffickers – Mikuki Suen, 43, Jian Min Huang, 42, Songhua Qu, 54, Kin Lui Chen, 53, and Fangrang Qu, 31 – allegedly received 400,000 pairs of fakes that were shipped from factories in China over the past two and a half years, said officials from Homeland Security, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the NYPD. It is believed the operation cost Nike more than $70 million over that time span.
Once the shoes were shipped to the U.S., the five accused would then allegedly place counterfeit Nike logos on the sneakers in warehouses in Brooklyn and Queens and then sell them nationwide, authorities said. The New York Post reports investigators seized at least 42 shipping containers full of Air Jordan 7s, Air Jordan 11s and other retros during the bust.
The sneaker-selling game is a lucrative business for sure, but Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey Berman warned others to think twice before smuggling in knockoffs.
“I commend our law enforcement partners for helping to bring today’s charges, which send a clear message to would-be counterfeiters: ‘Just don’t do it,’” Berman said. “The five defendants in this case allegedly counterfeited over $70 million in fake Nike shoes and sold them to buyers on the U.S. market.”
“These counterfeiting networks can be both detrimental to our economy and threaten our national security, and HSI will continue to take every measure in investigating and dismantling these organizations,” said ICE HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Angel Melendez.