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HOUSTON Customs agents in Houston have seized a huge shipment of counterfeit perfume with an estimated value of $344,000.

The shipment contained more than 5,000 bottles of perfume.

It arrived in the Port of Houston and was headed for Dallas when officers intercepted it in February.

During their inspection, they found perfumes labeled as Flirt and Sensuous, which are an Estee Lauder trademark.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection seizures of counterfeit perfume increased in value by 471% to $9.4 million in fiscal year 2011. The dramatic increase in is attributed to increased partnerships between CBP and right holders as well as coordinated enforcement efforts.

CBP officers are actively enforcing trade laws and protecting legitimate business owners and consumers from copyright and trademark infringements, said Acting Houston Director of Field Operations, Judson W. Murdock II. When we identify products as counterfeit or confusingly similar, we take the necessary steps to protect the consumer and seize the shipment, preventing criminals from profiting from this type of illegal activity.

CBP could fine the importer up to $344,000, equal to the value of the manufactured suggested retail price.

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