About 30 businesses suspected of selling fake designer bags, glasses, perfumes and jewelry were raided by police in a coordinated take-down in Chinatown today.
Cops used power-saws to break the locks on the businesses around 6 a.m. The estimated value of the goods seized is not yet known.
A special unit created in 2006 to crackdown on trademark counterfeiting made undercover purchases of some of the goods in advance of the raids, law enforcement said.
Experts will return to the stores later today to examine the merchandise and the buildings' landlords will be required to appear in court, law enforcement officials said. No arrests were made.
The area of Canal between Centre and Walker Streets have been dubbed "the Counterfeit Triangle" by police, as peddlers hawk knockoff Coach, Gucci, Prada, Rolex and Burberry items among many other fake designer wares.
A raid last year netted more than $1 million in counterfeit goods.
Lawmakers say that in addition to violating piracy and intellectual property laws, the sale of fake goods costs the city an estimated $3 billion per year in sales tax revenue.
China is the No. 1 offender in the global sale of counterfeit goods and the issue has become a major trade dispute, federal officials said .
The money trail from counterfeit items has also been traced to terrorist groups around the globe and has been funneled to groups staging attacks -- such as the homegrown Muslim extremist group linked to the deadly 2004 bombings of commuter trains in Madrid. The FBI and NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly said money from pirated cds helped the group fund the attack.