On the morning of November 15th, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York had Adama Sow, 38, and Abdulai Jalloh, 48, arrested. Picked up on charges of trafficking counterfeit goods, the duo were arrested without incident. Charged after a lengthy investigation, they allegedly had been moving the merchandise through a Manhattan storage facility.
When law enforcement conducted the raid on their facility, over 219,000 items were found. With a reported street value of $1.03 billion, this represents the largest counterfeit goods bust ever conducted on US soil. Comprised largely of shoes, wallets, purses, and other so-called “quick-sale” goods. Frequently demanded by NYC consumers and tourists across the city, these goods come in easily, are re-distributed quickly, and are sold with no returns.
Under the charge of counterfeit trafficking, the defendants can face up to ten years in federal prison. This may explain why there has been little outcry about the $1 million and $500,000 bonds for Sow and Jalloh, respectively. With multiple known locations set up around the city and allegations that many more mobile shops are popping up daily, it’s likely officials only got to a drop in the bucket.
For those arrested on these kinds of charges, the valuation is based on the retail prices of the goods, whether real or fake. It doesn’t account for the “discount” pricing they offer on such goods.
A Hermes handbag can cost $15k, but through their sales, it can be purchased for $750, and as long as the fake looks good, people will buy it without a conversation.