Federal ICE agents announced Monday that their agency has confiscated about 1,200 hats, T-shirts and other Giants paraphernalia that they say are Major League Baseball counterfeit knockoffs.
Federal agents announced Monday that their agency has confiscated about 1,200 hats, T-shirts and other Giants paraphernalia that they say are Major League Baseball counterfeit knockoffs.
Had the goods been genuine, officials said they would have sold for more than $25,000.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations took these items during the first two World Series Games when the Giants played the Tigers at AT&T Park in San Francisco. The Giants swept the series Sunday night, in a 4-3 victory.
"The work is pretty simple," Anthony Ho, ICE's Assistant Special Agent In Charge said on Monday. "We put a about a dozen plainclothes agents out on the streets. And our first clues is that these will be street vendors. The legitimate stuff isn't usually sold on the curb."
Then, Ho said the agents look for poor quality, ripped tags and irregular sizes. "Then we can tell there is no way this is genuine," he said.
Ho said that despite the massive seizure of about 1,000 phony T-shirts and counterfeit baseball hats and knit caps - no arrests were made. He said that the confiscation was "punishment enough."
Plus, Ho said that agents don't really want to bust the little guy on the street, but would rather arrest the mastermind behind the counterfeit plot.
Piracy and counterfeiting is a large part of what Homeland Security is about.
"We look for counterfeit goods and stolen intellectual property rights from software to T-shirts," Ho said.
Last year, intellectual property rights enforcement by HSI and U.S. Customs and Border Protection led to more than 24,000 seizures - a 24-percent increase compared to the previous year. The seized goods had a total value of more than $1.1 billion, based upon the manufacturer’s suggested retail price had the products been legitimate.