Over two dozen counterfeit NBA championship rings have been seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Los Angeles.
The rings were en route from China to a final destination in Arizona.
The CBP officers were assigned to Cargo Operations at Los Angeles International Airport and worked with import specialists assigned to the Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising Center of Excellence.
CPB officials say the rings were found inside of a wooden box, with the apparent intent to be sold as a collection. CBP Officers discovered the 28 rings while conducting an enforcement exam on the shipment.
CPMM Center import specialists confirmed that the designs and word marks were in violation of protected trademarks used by the Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Air Jordan and the NBA.
“Scammers take advantage of collectors and pro-basketball fans desiring to obtain a piece of sports history”, said Carlos C. Martel, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles. “This seizure illustrates how CBP officers and import specialists protect not only trademarks, but most importantly, the American consumer.”
“Transnational criminal organizations are shipping illicit goods to the United States via small express parcels in an attempt to circumvent U.S. laws,” said Donald R. Kusser, CBP Port Director at LAX. “CBP at LAX commits substantial resources to detect, intercept and seize illicit goods in a challenging e-commerce global environment.”
Authentic NBA championship ring prices range between $10,000 and $40,000 and in some cases over $200,000. There’s a strong market for non-genuine collector-oriented championship rings as well, but they aren’t supposed to be produced without proper licensing.
In fiscal year 2018, CBP says it seized 33,810 shipments containing goods that violated intellectual property rights.