Federal agents have seized more than 60,000 counterfeit mermaid dolls destined for the Koochiching County port city of Ranier.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations in International Falls office reported the seizure of the dolls in late June. Agents discovered the dolls, worth an estimated $601,198 retail, in a rail container in May. One doll featured on the patrol’s website is called “Mermaid Sirène.”
The dolls contained counterfeit copyright markings, a violation of intellectual property rights.
“The enforcement of trade laws at U.S. ports of entry remains a high priority for us,” said International Falls port director Anthony Jackson. “Counterfeiting adversely affects the ability of lawful copyright holders to profit from their original ideas. Counterfeiting also harms consumers because manufacturers of forged products have little motivation to use safe, high-quality materials.”
To help fight counterfeiters, trademark and copyright holders can help import specialists by registering online with the field office, a news release said.
The office didn’t indicate whether arrests were made in the incident, deferring the question to the Department of Homeland Security.
Ranier is on Rainy Lake where the Rainy River heads west to Lake of the Woods. The bike trail from International Falls to Voyageurs National Park winds through Ranier.