It’s going to be a lot harder to find a fake bag in Chinatown. Thousands of fake purses and wallets were seized Wednesday when police uncovered an alleged international counterfeit operation in Chelsea.
The NYPD Trademark Infringement Unit raided “La La Fashion” after a two-month investigation and found hoards of knockoff luxury goods meant to look like Tory Burch and Michael Kors designs.
All together, the counterfeit contraband had an estimated street value of $3.5 million, police said.
The 28th Street operation sold the goods through their website, www.LaLaFashion.net, and to retailers in Chinatown and Canal Street, according to police.
The thousands of leather accessories were shipped from China to New York City streets, according to the investigation, aided by U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement agents.
Six members of the ring have been arrested and charged with first-degree trademark counterfeiting.
The pervasive counterfeit culture of Canal Street has long been the subject of Councilwoman Margaret Chin’s ire.
Earlier this year, Chin proposed legislation that would make the purchase of a counterfeit good a crime in itself: The maximum punishment would be a $1,000 fine or up to one year in jail.
“We need to cut the demand for these items by making it a crime to buy counterfeit trademarked goods,” Chin said.
“We need to create a strong deterrent and we need to counter the idea that counterfeiting is a victimless crime,” she added.
Follow Emily Anne Epstein on Twitter @EmilyatMetro.