Almost $1.2 million in counterfeit phone accessories seized at Port of Charleston

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Almost $1.2 million in counterfeit phone accessories has been seized at the Port of Charleston.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection uncovered 85,000 phony mobile phone accessories and 38,000 power adapters shipped from China in January, a spokesman announced Thursday morning.

Officials confirmed the items were counterfeit in mid-March.

They were shipped from China in January and found in a cargo container at the Wando Terminal in Mt. Pleasant.

"There were some red flags, maybe it was counterfeit, maybe it wasn't, definitely worth a closer look when it got here," Customs Border Protection Supervisory Officer Brett Mueller said.

Mueller says the goods were taken to a warehouse to be examined.

He said there were obvious grammatical errors on some of the packages.

"I think Bluetooth would spell tooth correctly, but they did not do that on this packaging," Mueller said.

The logos of companies — albeit misspelled — were used without their permission, Mueller said.

He also said a claim that the power adapters were approved by the F.C.C was false.

"The Federal Communications Commission indicated to us that they did not authorize this manufacturer to use their mark," Mueller said.

Mueller says the merchandise most likely was manufactured in unsanitary conditions and could be dangerous or deadly if used.

"Who knows what happens when you plug this thing into your car and then you plug your cables in? Does it spark, Does it shock you, does is start a fire?" Mueller said.

Counterfeit phones are not subject to comprehensive testing and can be unsafe.

Valued at $1,192,131, the accessories were destined for convenience stores in the Upstate.

Mueller says no arrests were made because it's difficult to track down the people in China who manufactured the counterfeit items.

If you suspect that a business is selling counterfeit goods ... you can call the number listed there on your screen... or send an e mail to I-P-R Center at d-h-s dot gov.

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