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16,053 fake Hermes handbags seized at SoCal ports

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- U.S. Customs & Border Protection agents have seized more than 16,000 phony Hermes handbags that were shipped to the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach from China.

Authorities said Thursday the 16,053 handbags arrived in nine separate shipments between June 6 and Sept. 17.

Had the bags been the real items, they would have had a retail value of more than $210 million.

Even as high-end fakes sold at swap meets and other questionable venues, authorities say they would have fetched nearly $300,000 from people wanting others to think they were carrying the trendy, luxury Hermes brand.

Authorities say most of the bags were bound for Southern California retailers. One shipment was headed to Texas.