- The Washington Times - Friday, September 27, 2013

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in California seized more than 16,000 counterfeit designer Hermes purses — a significant find, given the same number of genuine handbags sold legitimately in stores would have gone for a collective $210 million.

Federal agents intercepted the handbags at Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. They were being smuggled in from China and Hong in nine separate shipments between June 6 and Sept. 17, The Riverside Press-Enterprise reported.

The Department of Homeland Security took control of the bags on Thursday and put them in a warehouse in Riverside, Calif., United Press International reported.

Elva Muneton, assistant port director of trade, said those who buy the fake bags for less “think they’re probably getting a deal,” but many are made of plastic, not leather, and are of poor quality. Real Hermes purses sell for thousands of dollars, UPI reported.

Homeland Security will destroy the purses once the investigation is finished.