Counterfeit Guitars from China Seized at Dulles Airport

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Dulles Airport have seized 36 counterfeit guitars shipped from China.

The guitars arrived in 36 different shipments on Dec. 15, 2020. Officers suspected the guitars to be counterfeit and detained them to continue their investigation. The collection consisted of 27 Gibson, six Fender, two CF Martin and one Paul Reed Smith guitars—valued at $158,700 if authentic.

Many of the Gibsons were of the Les Paul line of custom guitars. A version of Jimmy Page’s Gibson Double Neck made the collection, as did one autographed by Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash. The most expensive was a Gibson Ace Frehley guitar valued at $9,000. 

The guitars were destined to addresses in 21 states and Australia.

CBP import specialists worked with the trademark holders and confirmed the guitars were counterfeit. The officers completed the seizure Jan. 20.

Counterfeit consumer goods are illegal, violate lawful property rights, result in job loss, steal tax revenues from our nation’s economy, and are often constructed in unregulated facilities with potentially harmful materials that could threaten consumers’ health. CBP encourages consumers to protect themselves and their families by always purchasing safe, authentic goods from reputable vendors.

“Transnational criminal organizations will counterfeit anything that generates illicit revenues, and unscrupulous vendors line their pockets by preying on unsuspecting consumers,” stated Keith Fleming, CBP’s Acting Director of Field Operations in Baltimore. “Protecting intellectual property rights is a Customs and Border Protection trade enforcement priority, and CBP officers will continue to seize counterfeit and potentially unsafe consumer goods when we encounter them.”

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