NEW YORK (TCD) — Officials recently seized over 200,000 knockoff designer items and have charged two individuals on suspicion of trafficking those goods.
According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, from around January until Oct. 20, Adama Sow and Abdulai Jalloh, who also went by Troy Banks, allegedly operated “large-scale counterfeit goods trafficking operations out of a storage facility.” Prosecutors allege that additionally, Jalloh smuggled counterfeit items through an offsite location in Manhattan.
In total, the attorney’s office said officials seized around 219,000 counterfeit bags, clothes, shoes, and other luxury items with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of approximately $1.03 billion.
Authorities reportedly recovered over 83,000 counterfeit items with a MSRP of over $502 million in facilities controlled by Sow and over 50,000 counterfeit items with a MSRP of over $237 million on premises operated by Jalloh.
The attorney’s office unsealed indictments charging Sow and Jalloh with trafficking in counterfeit goods. They were arrested on Wednesday, Nov. 15.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said it was “the largest-ever seizure of counterfeit goods in U.S. history.”
NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban added, “The trafficking of counterfeit goods is anything but a victimless crime because it harms legitimate businesses, governments, and consumers.”
If convicted, Sow and Jalloh face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
The attorney’s office noted that the street value of knockoff designer items is often lower than the MSRP.