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More than 20,000 pairs of fake designer shoes seized at port

Federal customs agents have seized more than 20,000 pairs of fake French designer Christian Louboutin shoes on their way from China to Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport, customs officials said Wednesday.

A total of five shipments containing 20,457 counterfeit shoes -- which had a retail value of more than $18 million -- were seized this week and last month, officials said.

"The lacquered red sole in women’s shoes is a distinctive symbol of famous French designer Christian Louboutin," U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Jaime Ruiz said in a statement. In this case, however, the colored soles are also "a trademark protected by U.S. law."

The real designer shoes are worn by celebrities and royalty and can sell for thousands of dollars per pair.

Ruiz told the Associated Press that the shoes were very good counterfeits and probably destined for swap meets or sale through websites. He said the shoes would probably be destroyed.


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-- Melissa Leu

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