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Customs Seizes Counterfeit Pokemon Card Games

Estimated $218,000 in trading cards shipped from China were uncovered by U.S. Customs at the Long Beach-L.A. port complex.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and import specialists have seized $218,000 worth of counterfeit trading card games such as Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh at the Los Angeles/Long Beach port complex that had been shipped from China, authorities say.

According to CBP, 33,000 trading cards game sets were seized.

``This seizure is yet another example on how effective targeting and trademark expertise by CBP officers and import specialists prevent the introduction of counterfeit products into the U.S.,'' said Todd Owen, CBP director of field operations. ``CBP maintains an aggressive posture against those attempting to circumvent trade law.''

Authorities said fake playing cards can be purchased on the Internet and have been found in retail stores and street markets. Parents are often unaware they are buying the counterfeit cards for their children, according to Jaime Ruiz of CBP.

``Theft of intellectual property is a serious crime and CBP remains vigilant in its commitment to protect America by expanding its efforts to seize infringing goods,'' Ruiz said. ``Counterfeit and pirated goods pose a serious threat to America's economic vitality, the health and safety of American consumers and our critical infrastructure and national security.''

Seizures of merchandise in violation of intellectual property rights increased 24 percent nationwide in 2011 compared to 2010, Ruiz said.

--City News Service

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