18 April 2018Trademarks

LAPD seizes counterfeit cosmetics containing human faeces

Earlier this week the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) seized $700,000 worth of counterfeit cosmetics containing bacteria and faeces in LA’s fashion district.

The LAPD announced the news on Monday, April 16.

According to the release, the LAPD’s Piracy Unit coordinated a multi-location task force, which included the FBI and the Central Bureau Vice Units, in order to tackle the prevalence of counterfeit branded cosmetics sold in The Santee Alley and surrounding areas.

The Santee Alley comprises more than 150 fashion stores in the LA fashion district, which is the design and distribution hub of the fashion industry in downtown LA.

While the focus of the task force was to seize illegal cosmetics and arrest those involved in the sale of counterfeit products, the LAPD said it also wanted to educate the public about the health and safety issues of purchasing fake cosmetics.

Marc Reina, LAPD commanding officer for the central area of the city, shared photos of the operation on Twitter. He said the task force covered 21 locations across the LA fashion district, seizing $700,000 worth of counterfeit cosmetics.

He added that the illegal products were “found to contain bacteria and human waste”, which goes to show that “the best price is not always the best deal”.

The FBI’s LA team similarly shared the news on Twitter: it is a “public safety concern” that “knock-off brand makeup may contain bacteria and other harmful substances”, it explained.

US news outlet ABC said the brands being counterfeited in the LA fashion district included Kylie Cosmetics, Urban Decay, MAC, and NARS, and that the owners at six of the raided locations were arrested during the operation.

The LAPD was alerted to the issue after the cosmetics brands said they had received complaints of skin irritation after consumers had used branded products bought in the LA fashion district, according to ABC.

Detective Ricky Ishitani reportedly said the Piracy Unit conducted undercover purchases of the products in question to test them and “they came back positive with a high level of bacteria and animal faeces”.

Ishitani said the waste gets “mixed into” products, which are typically being manufactured in a garage or bathroom.

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