Police scored big on Thursday, when they recovered several million dollars in cash and counterfeit Samsung and Apple electronics.
Multiple search warrants were executed at two Brooklyn store fronts which resulted in the significant haul. A combined total of $71,000 in cash was recovered from both locations along with approximately 31,000 cell phones.
Two men, ages 23 and 27, were arrested at 2112 Coney Island Avenue in Midwood.
After a search warrant was executed for Phone Traders, located at 2112 Coney Island Ave., police found 9,160 fake Apple and Samsung phones and $59,646 in cash, law enforcement officials said.
Isacc Serieh, Eli Haluf and Yik Leung were arrested after a nine-month investigation involving the NYPD, agents from Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Serieh, 27, Haluf, 23, and Leung, 24, were charged with trademark counterfeiting.
A 24-year-old man was arrested at 203 Highlawn Avenue in Bensonhurt. Officials say the two stores were distribution centers where the counterfeit goods were being sold to customers at wholesale prices.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents had initially identified at least one suspicious package at JFK International Airport, which originated in China, according to police sources.
The find led to a nine month long investigation which culminated in Thursday’s raids. U.S. Customs, a division of Homeland Security worked in partnership with NYPD units in the successful operation.
In a press conference outside of the Coney Island Ave location, law enforcement officials showcased a truck filled with dozens of cardboard boxes containing the fraudulent merchandise.
Aside from being bogus, the electronics do not meet standard safety regulations according to Brian McCarthy, Commanding Officer of the NYPD Criminal Enterprise Division.
“We had experts analyze these products and they supplied to me that these products are dangerous. It’s not what the manufacturer produces in a safe manner.”