The LAPD announced the news in an official release last week, stating that the haul had been identified thanks to the work of a co-ordinated multi-location task force that included both the FBI and the Central Bureau Vice Units.
The police units’ work was specifically focused on tackling the prevalence of counterfeit branded cosmetics and personal care products, which is known to be a problem in Los Angeles’ fashion district – a hub for the beauty and fashion industries in both California and nationwide.
Tackling counterfeit beauty products
The operation had focused on the district’s Santee Alley, which comprises 150 fashion stores that serve as a major design, manufacturing and distribution hub.
In the official release about the operation, the LAPD said that while its objective was to seize the illegally produced cosmetics and arrest those responsible, it also wanted to educate the public about the health and safety issues associated with illegally manufactured products of this nature.
The commanding officer in charge of the operation, Marc Reina, shared photos of both the operation and the haul on Twitter, drawing attention to the fact that testing of the seized products had shown evidence of both bacteria and human waste.
Kylie, MAC and Urban Decay all seized
Some of the biggest selling beauty brands in the country were being used by the counterfeiters to try and sell the products.
Those brand names included Kylie Cosmetics, NARS, MAC and Urban Decay – which are consistently amongst the top-selling color cosmetics brands in the USA right now.
The LAPD said it was alerted to the possibility of counterfeited products after a spate of consumer complaints about skin irritations and reactions to branded beauty products that were bought in the LA fashion district.