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At Long Beach port, karaoke machines containing nearly $1 million in counterfeit memory chips are seized

June 2, 2011 |  6:47 pm

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said Thursday that their officers have discovered nearly $1 million worth of counterfeit portable memory chips hidden inside hundreds of karaoke machines being shipped into the Port of Long Beach.

The 1,932 karaoke machines arrived May 16 in a container from China and contained fake San Disk portable memory chips with an estimated value of $852,368, said agency spokesman Jaime Ruiz.

The illegal shipment was destroyed once San Disk said the chips were counterfeit, officials said.

Importers who violate trademark laws can be be subject to civil penalties and criminal prosecution, but it was not clear what penalties the unidentified importer could face.

"We have an ongoing commitment that is focused toward intercepting shipments containing merchandise in violation of protected trademarks before they reach the consumer," said CBP Acting Director Carlos Martel.

Customs and Border officials said they broke their record for trade seizures in fiscal year 2010. Officers made 863 trade seizures with a domestic value exceeding $34 million, a 42% increase in the number of seizures from fiscal year 2009.

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-- Andrew Blankstein

Twitter: @anblanx

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