13,000 Fake Nikes, 31,000 Fake Converse Found in Belize Headed For Free Zone
Three containers full of bogus Nike, Converse and Chanel merchandise are sitting at the Queen's Bond Warehouse at the Customs Department in Belize City tonight after they were busted by agents of Nike who flagged the container when it left China weeks ago.
The containers were destined for a Chinese-owned company in the Corozal Free Zone named Pacific Ocean International Ltd. Nike's trademark is registered in Belize, and so it's local attorney David Morales contacted customs to open the containers and inspect them. That started yesterday with two forty-foot containers. Those were stuffed with 13,000 pairs of fake Nike tennis shoes. Morales tells us that is the biggest seizure of fake Nike tennis shoes this year in Central and South America and the Caribbean - eclipsing a bust of 12,000 made earlier this year in Colombia. The Nike tennis vary in type from Air Max CROSS TRAINERS to KING JAMES basketball shoes to 501 RUNNING SHOES.
While that was in container number one, container number two was full of Nike shorts, thirty thousand of them - again all fake.
And then today they opened container number three which was stuffed with thirty one thousand pairs of fake Converse all-star tennis shoes - which is like whoa! Morales says that too may be the 2013 high for the region, but they haven't confirmed that yet.
Speaking of the NIKE Products, Morales says the fakes are good and even the trained eye can't easily tell if they are bogus. He said they had to send the bar code to Nike Headquarters in Oregon to confirm that they are fakes.
But it wasn't all just Nike and Converse - each of the containers had a fair amount of Chanel purses and wallets - also bogus.
So what happens next? Well all these trademarks, Nike, Converse and Chanel are registered in Belize so those companies can initiate civil and criminal action against the importing company, Pacific Ocean International Ltd.
As for the tennis shoes and the shorts - usually these are destroyed by the Customs Department - but Morales says he is awaiting instruction from the trademark holders to see how they wish to proceed.
Once, in 2004, Tommy Hilfiger had given a container-ful of fake Hilfigger Clothing to the prison.
Typically these products would have been sent to the free zone, and then likely wholesaled into Mexico.
We'll keep following the story.