Washington DC
06 February 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Operation Team Player touches down


US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) operation ‘Team Player’ resulted in the seizure of more than $20 million of counterfeit sports items ahead of yesterday’s Super Bowl.

ICE said that investigation resulted in 56 arrests and 50 convictions and the seizure of more than 260,000 of goods.

Acting ICE director Thomas Homan said: “Criminal elements use major sporting events like the Super Bowl as an opportunity to sell substandard and counterfeit goods to the American public.”

“ICE special agents are committed to collaborating with industry and law-enforcement agencies to crackdown on counterfeiting that significantly impacts local economies and funnels money into organizations involved in additional illicit activities.”

Operation Team Player began at the end of last year’s Super Bowl and saw a significant increase in arrests and convictions.

NFL vice president of legal affairs Dolores DiBella said: “The NFL is proud to continue its work with ICE, the IPR Center, and law enforcement departments throughout the country to protect fans and consumers who are seeking an authentic NFL experience during the celebration of Super Bowl LI.”

“Their collaborative enforcement efforts advance consumer protection goals for every industry, year-round.” ​

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