Release from CBP Incarceration for Counterfeit Purse

Release from CBP Incarceration for Counterfeit Purse

  • Applicant: Mr. Banda
  • Nationality: China
  • Applying for: Release from incarceration by CBP
  • Case Type:
  • Time: Within hours
  • Challenges:
    • Client’s daughter in custody of Customs and Border Patrol at JFK for potential smuggling.
    • The U.S. Government takes intellectual property crimes very seriously.
    • Client needed immediate attention on a Sunday


As usual, Tsang and Associates was closed on Sunday, but the voicemail is checked just in case of emergencies. On this particular Sunday in December 2018 a longtime client, Mr. Banda, needed emergency assistance. His twenty-two-year-old daughter Tina was in trouble at JFK airport in New York City. As Mr. Banda explained, his daughter was returning from a trip to China and was passing through Customs and Border Protection (CBP) when her handbag had been confiscated. An officer from criminal enforcement, who was trained to look for counterfeit merchandise, spotted Tina’s Celine Dion handbag and recognized it as a fake Louis Vuitton. The United States government takes intellectual property crimes very seriously. In August 2018, Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the arrest of 33 individuals who had smuggled into the U.S. millions of dollars of Chinese-manufactured counterfeit luxury goods. Tina was being held in custody and stood to face criminal charges. Mr. Banda called attorneys in the New York region, but they quoted upwards of $10,000 to handle the case. Fortunately, Mr. Banda called the immigration experts at Tsang and Associates.



Tsang and Associates doesn’t typically handle these types of issues, but since Mr. Banda was a long-time and loyal client, the firm agreed to take on the case. Mr. Banda’s daughter Tina was a bright student seeking her Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering. She was in a stable financial situation and had lucrative career prospects. Given this fact and that she wasn’t traveling with numerous purses to resell in the United States, she did not fit the profile of a smuggler for counterfeit goods. Understanding Tina was in custody and in a worrisome situation, Tsang and Associates quickly drafted a letter to the CPB officers at JFK explaining the above, plus Tina’s willingness to forfeit the handbag and sign a non-liability agreement.



Tina was released from CBP within the hour and has since returned to college without fear of criminal prosecution. Mr. Banda and his daughter expressed their great appreciation for the fast, low-cost assistance by Tsang and Associates.