Knockoff Products Smuggled Into The U.S. Labeled "Refrigerated Noodles"

Federal agents have announced that they’ve busted a smuggling ring that brought hundreds of millions of dollars worth of knockoff products into the US, says the NYT.

The charges, revealed yesterday in a complaint issued in Federal District Court in Manhattan, followed a yearlong investigation in which an undercover customs agent posed as a longshoremen’s union official and took nearly $500,000 in bribes to let the illegal shipments pass through the Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal in New Jersey.

The undercover agent had nearly daily contact with the smugglers, who included Chinese manufacturers, a customs broker and a husband-and-wife team that owned a Brooklyn trucking company, officials said.

While officials declined to say how the investigation started, the complaint said that in August 2006, Michael Chu, 70, of Manhattan, approached the undercover agent and asked for his help in moving the illegal containers through the port. Mr. Chu paid the agent $100,000 in cash bribes to smuggle about 20 containers carrying fake consumer goods with a value of more than $24 million, the complaint said.

Some of the fake products included Coach wallets, Burberry handbags, Ralph Lauren clothing and Nike shoes. The shoes were listed on ship manifests as “refrigerated noodles.” Ew. You’d like to think that labeling something as food would attract more attention, not less. Yuck.

10 Charged With Smuggling $200 Million in Fake Goods


Edit Your Comment

  1. says:

    yikes. sucks to be them!

  2. HRHKingFriday says:

    Well good for them. I’m glad that a few less fake designer handbags will be peddled to people who want to look like Paris Hilton.

  3. nutrigm says:

    A 70 year old guy started all this?! :O we’re all put to shame!

  4. TechnoDestructo says:

    So were the containers actually refrigerated?

    Because I would think that they’d have to be if they didn’t want to attract attention.

    Also, I don’t think this is really any worse than the Chinese-made “Italian” crap you told us about before.

  5. Munsoned says:

    …I thought those noodles tasted funny…

  6. mac-phisto says:

    please tell me the customs agent got to keep a bit of that bribe money.

    …& then tell me where i can apply for the next job.

  7. timmus says:

    Their mistake was labelling the packages “noodles” instead of “kimchi”.

  8. Mayor McRib says:

    That explains why my shipment of Oakeys and Mike Ayrs haven’t been delivered yet.

  9. Beerad says:

    I guess it’s better than fake noodles being smuggled into the country in containers marked “luxury designer handbags”…

  10. pyloff says:

    I wouldn’t have accepted less than one million dollars to let that shit pass. Damn newbs.

  11. miburo says:

    How about the fake “made in italy/france” items people overpay for in department stores everyday

  12. Blueskylaw says:

    Where are my Timberlane shoes?