Customs agents have seized more than 45 tonnes of pirated goods from a storage facility within the Mexico City International Airport (AICM).
The confiscation is the largest ever of its kind at the airport, where shipments of drugs and cash are often seized.
Among the counterfeit goods were large quantities of clothes, shoes, watches, jewelry, bags and mobile phone accessories.
The pirated brands included Lacoste, Nike, Adidas, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Rolex, Calvin Klein, Bulgari and Casio.
Ricardo Peralta, head of the General Customs Administration (AGA) at the Federal Tax Administration (SAT), praised the work of the airport customs team including its chief, who has only been in the job since Tuesday.
“The presence of the new administrator, Damaris Baglietto, and the team made up of experts on organized crime and investigation is beginning to yield great results,” he said.
Baglietto, 44, is an expert in money laundering, drug trafficking and organized crime with experience in investigation and prosecution.
The AGA described the seizure as a severe economic blow for traffickers of pirated goods, estimating that the value of the counterfeit items on the black market would be 200 million pesos (US $10.5 million).
Most Mexico City confiscations of pirated goods, known colloquially in Mexico as fayuca, come as the result of operations carried out in the Tepito neighborhood – home to the capital’s most notorious black market – or at street stalls in other parts of the city.
Most counterfeit items smuggled into Mexico come from China or other Asian countries.
Following yesterday’s seizure, customs officials contacted legal representatives from the companies whose goods had been pirated to provide information that will allow them to file copyright infringement complaints with the federal Attorney General’s Office (FGR).
Peralta said the new airport customs chief will oversee increased efforts to detect customs personnel who are involved in smuggling illegal goods into the country.
He explained that drug seizures at the airport are up, adding that 68 people have been charged with smuggling offenses in the last four months, 18 of whom were customs employees.
Source: El Universal (sp)