New York Police Seize $1 Billion Worth of Fake Luxury Items, 2 Arrested

In a record-breaking seizure, authorities have arrested and charged two men in New York after seizing counterfeit bags, clothing, shoes, and luxury items estimated to be worth billions of dollars. Damian Williams, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Ivan J. Arvelo, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and Edward A. Caban, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (NYPD), made the announcement on Nov. 15.

Adama Sow, 38, of Queens, and Abdulai Jalloh, 48, of New York, also known as Troy Banks, are both charged with trafficking in counterfeit goods. Prosecutors allege in court documents that the pair knowingly and intentionally trafficked, and used counterfeit marks on goods and services, and they could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

According to prosecutors, from January of this year to October, Sow and Jalloh operated large-scale counterfeit goods operations out of a Manhattan storage facility. Prosecutors also alleged that Jalloh trafficked the counterfeit goods out of another Manhattan location. A police search of the storage facility led to the seizure of over 83,000 counterfeit items with a total estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of over $502 million. A separate search of the offsite location led to the seizure of over 50,000 counterfeit items with an estimated MSRP of over $237 million. In total, approximately 219,000 counterfeit luxury products were seized, worth over $1 billion, according to prosecutors.

The record-breaking seizure of counterfeit goods was conducted by law enforcement officials, who found shelves and racks stacked with fake designer bags, wallets, shirts, and scarves. U.S. Attorney Damian Williams referred to the seizure as the largest-ever in U.S. history, emphasizing their commitment to combat counterfeit trafficking in New York City. HSI Special Agent in Charge Ivan J. Arvelo praised the dedication of his team and partner agencies in their pursuit of justice, noting it was the largest-ever seizure of its kind.

This latest seizure of counterfeit goods follows the NYPD’s previous seizure of $35 million worth of counterfeits in Lower Manhattan in September, after numerous complaints from the community about fake items being sold on the streets, where a total of 18 individuals were arrested in connection with the illegal sales. Police have vowed to crack down on the open sales of counterfeit luxury items going forward, including through increased police presence in the Lower Manhattan area.

The joint efforts of law enforcement officials are aimed at upholding the law and protecting consumers from counterfeit products. Williams and other law enforcement officials have underscored their unwavering commitment to combating counterfeit trafficking and intellectual property theft, and their latest operation serves as a testament to their efforts.


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