In one of the largest raids in NYC history, today the NYPD conducted a massive sweep of Chinatown’s bustling counterfeit designer goods shops, clearing Canal Street of knockoff watches and handbags. Police padlocked 32 businesses whose owners now face stiff fines or imprisonment.
Mayor Bloomberg: “It is organized crime, frequently accompanied by bloody turf wars, stickups and armed assaults. Counterfeiters rob legitimate businesses of their customers and employees of their paychecks. It defrauds the purchasers of shoddy goods and it cheats the people of New York City of an estimated $1 billion a year in sales tax revenue.”
Of course, you can still find street vendors hawking fake handbags on every block elsewhere in Manhattan, not to mention the East African men that work the subway stations with briefcases full of fake watches. I once tried to take a photo of the watch peddlers to use here as a “Morning View” and I nearly got my throat slit. Stupid. I’ll confess that I’ve bought a couple of fake handbags on the request of my sister in Orlando. I am a tool of organized crime.