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Agents seize 50,000 counterfeit glasses, hats, handbags

Sep 23, 2011, 2:13 p.m.

(Reuters) - Officials seized an estimated 50,000 counterfeit items with a retail price tag of nearly $5 million in Tampa, Florida this week, customs officials said on Friday.

The goods were confiscated from a local flea market, three storage units and a box truck after five federal search warrants were executed, officials said.

Photos released of the counterfeit items showed handbags, sunglasses and hats were part of the loot.

No arrests have been made, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said.

The counterfeit items were seized as part of an ongoing intellectual property rights investigation by special agents on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.

The goods will be processed as evidence and eventually destroyed, officials said.

In recent years, crimes like these including counterfeiting, piracy and other intellectual property rights violations have grown in magnitude and complexity, according to a statement from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

(Reporting by Lauren Keiper)

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