The Los Angeles Police Department recently conducted a series of raids to bust people accused of making counterfeit laundry detergent (video below).
The LAPD confiscated 400 buckets of laundry detergent that were placed in brand-name packages like Tide and Downy and then sold for a profit, reported ABC News.
“These guys are driving around with van loads of this stuff every day like it’s nothing,” said Lt. Geoffrey Deedrick of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Office of Counterfeit and Piracy Team. “If you made just as much money selling counterfeit Tide as heroin, what would you choose? The Tide.”
The going rate for a bucket of counterfeit detergent is $45 and costs about $10 to $12 to produce, according to National Geographic.
Putting off-brand detergent inside the packaging of name-brand detergent is nothing new.
In 2010, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized nearly 1,500 cartons of counterfeit laundry detergent that arrived in Seattle by ship from China, reported the Seattle Times.
The detergent was placed in Tide and Ariel packaging that claimed it was made in the U.S.A.
The total street value of the 1,500 cartons, which included 5,000 boxes and 3,600 bags, was an estimated $16,000.
Proctor & Gamble, a billion-dollar corporation that includes detergents as one of its many products, recently testified in front of Congress to ask that more be done to reduce counterfeit goods that might affect its profits.
“Counterfeiters’ theft of P&G intellectual property encroaches upon P&G’s market share, suppresses profitability, hinders business growth and hurts the equity of our brands,” Shelley Duggan of Proctor & Gamble told Congress in April.
Duggan said Proctor & Gamble has been working with law enforcement agencies to cut down on counterfeiters who restrict the company’s profits.
“In the last 9 months, P&G has worked closely with law enforcement agencies around the world to identify and shutdown over 50 large facilities manufacturing counterfeits, 12 of which had the capability of generating tens of millions of dollars in illicit sales,” Duggan said.
Sources: ABC News, National Geographic, Seattle Times, U.S. Senate testimony / Photo Credit: Mike Mozart/Flickr