Maple Shade Police caught 16 flea market vendors who were allegedly found with more than $1 million in counterfeit merchandise this weekend.
Police said the individuals had been peddling the knockoff products—including popular brands like Polo Ralph Lauren, Nike, Adidas, Timberland, UGG and Gucci—at the Tacony-Palmyra Flea Market in Palmyra over the weekend. They were caught, and the merchandise seized, when they arrived in trucks at the Mini-U Storage in Maple Shade on Sunday, according to a report.
Counterfeiters do not pay taxes, meaning less money for schools, parks, fire and police departments and other social programs, the report from Maple Shade Police stated. Stuart Drobny, of Stumar Investigations, whose agents assisted in the investigation, said “counterfeiting not only deceives the consumer but also harms the economy.”
Maple Shade Police carried out the investigation in coordination with the Palmyra Police Department, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations and the FBI.
All sixteen suspects were charged with criminal simulation and violation of the NJ trademark-counterfeiting act. All were released pending future court proceedings:
Abdallah Balaghi, 41, Astoria, NY
Imad Chahine, 49, Astoria, NY
Hassan Darwich, 58, Jersey City, NJ
Ali Hijazi, 32, Guttenberg, NJ
Iyad Jouni, 39, Astoria, NY
Afif Kaddouh, 59, Astoria, NY
Chadi Kassir, 38, Maspeth, NY
Mohamad Kassir, 31, Astoria, NY
Wissam Kassir, 32, Maspeth, NY
Nader Kassir, 31, Maspeth, NY
Hussein Ismail, 39, Kent, WA
Ibrahim Ismail, 44, Elmhurst, NY
Hussein Reda, 60, Sunnyside, NY
Hani Anzola, 38, Elmhurst, NY
Abedalilah Elreda, 37, West New York, NJ
Mahamadou Ndiaye, 25, Harlem, NY
Learn more about the effects of counterfeiting and piracy on the U.S. economy at http://www.stopfakes.gov and http://www.iacc.org.