- The Washington Times - Monday, September 12, 2005

Six semi-tractor trailers loaded with more than 100,000 pieces of “knockoff” or counterfeit clothing and other items seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) — valued at more than $2 million — arrived yesterday afternoon in Hurricane Katrina-ravaged Jackson, Miss.

It was CBP’s second delivery of counterfeit goods to those areas of Louisiana and Mississippi in the past two weeks, with more trucks scheduled in the near future.

CBP spokesman Roger Maier said the new clothing and other items were donated by the agency to local officials at Mississippi’s Multi-agency Staging Center in Jackson.

Mr. Maier, in a telephone interview from the staging center, said two of the trucks were loaded in Norfolk, three in Chicago and another in Los Angles. He said other trucks are on the way from various CBP warehouses.

Mr. Maier said that among the donated clothing were dozens of designer labels and counterfeit NFL throwback jerseys. He said the items were part of an inventory of goods moved out of warehouses where it had been stored after being seized by CBP officers and later forfeited for violations of federal trademark sanctions.

U.S. businesses lose more than $250 billion a year in knockoff goods, about 20 percent of which is clothing. CBP has authority under a federal statue to donate items when the president declares a state of emergency, as President Bush did for Hurricane Katrina.

Most of the counterfeit items come from China, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and Russia.

An inventory of the available Mississippi goods includes cotton shirts, jeans, sweat pants, underwear, jackets, baseball caps, T-shirts, shoes and socks. Among the other items were children’s toys, beach towels, sheets and blankets.

Last week, CBP gave more than 100,000 items of new clothing valued at $2 million to the victims of Katrina who had been evacuated to Texas. A convoy of trucks contained hundreds of cartons of clothing seized by agents at field offices in Houston, Dallas, Laredo and El Paso.

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