NYPD Shuts Down 32 Businesses In Huge Counterfeiting Raid
02/26/2008 04:06 PM
In one of the biggest raids on counterfeiting operations in city history, the NYPD seized a million dollars in fake designer goods in Chinatown.
Copyright © 2008 NY1 News
Just before dawn Tuesday morning, police swooped down on what is known as the Counterfeit Triangle and shut down 32 businesses selling designer knockoffs.
"Whoever you are, wherever you are, we are going to shut you down," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
There were no arrests, but police confiscated countless handbags and watches and loaded them into huge plastic bags. The businesses are now padlocked.
The businesses operated in three buildings along Canal Street.
The city is looking to levy massive fines against the owner of the three buildings for allegedly allowing counterfeit stores to operate.
"If the landlords here replace these counterfeiters with legitimate businesses, then everybody is going to be a beneficiary," said the mayor.
The raid came after undercover officers made purchases on 40 separate occasions over the last five weeks. The owners of the building had been under federal orders to stop selling fake goods.
“It is organized crime, frequently accompanied by bloody turf wars, stickups and armed assaults,” said Bloomberg. “Counterfeiters rob legitimate businesses of their customers and employees of their paychecks. It defrauds the purchasers of shoddy goods and it cheats the people of New York City of an estimated $1 billion a year in sales tax revenue.”
"They often are engaged in the abuse of child labor laws and sometimes they ever have links to charities that have links to terrorist organizations," said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
In a statement, Leah Tarranova, the assistant to the managing agent of the property, says they are working with the city to "remedy" the situation.
Officials say all these bags and watches will either be given to charity or they'll simply be destroyed.