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Huge shipment of fake Pokemon cards seized at L.A. port, destroyed

July 13, 2012 |  1:31 pm

Pokemon Playing Cards

Pokemon card collectors may gasp at the thought of 33,000 game sets being purposely destroyed. After all, the retail value reportedly could have been more than $200,000 -– if only they had been genuine.

Federal authorities announced Friday that they recently had to destroy a large shipment of those cards and other anime cartoon games sent to the Los Angeles port from China. After all, the cards were all counterfeits aimed at ripping off consumers, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.

“They are gone,” Jaime Ruiz, spokesman for the customs agency, said of the cards, which were crushed and hauled away by a trash contractor.

The cards were seized June 26 and it took a while for the genuine trademark owners to confirm that the Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh games in the shipping container were fakes, said Ruiz.

He said no arrests had been made in the case and no civil charges had been filed against any distributor.

Ruiz said his own children love the Pokemon cards, so he understands why parents may buy some at a discount online.

“They may feel they are getting a good deal, but they need to pay attention,” he said. Such purchases encourage illegal trade and hurt the economy, he said.


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-- Larry Gordon

Photo: Seized fake Pokemon card games. Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection