Posted on March 21, 2014 at 7:46 AM
Tuesday, Mar 25 at 10:05 AM
PHOENIX-- Watch where you shop. A Valley businessman is facing charges for allegedly selling counterfeit merchandise.
Jewelry Unlimited sells necklaces, watches, and nose rings. Phoenix police say much of that stuff is fake. The Phoenix Police Business and Economic Stability Team, known as BEST, made a bust worth more than half a million dollars Tuesday.
Phoenix police say Masarof Hossain, 58, is the owner of the Jewelry Unlimited chain.
At the Desert Sky Mall location, police confiscated $560,000 worth of counterfeit merchandise like Michael Kors watches, purses, clothing, and prescription and novelty contact lenses.
Hossain did not have a license to sell contacts as a pharmacy.
This is the second investigation into Hossain. He first showed up on police radar in 2008. Police started investigating again in January.
Hossain faces charges of illegal control of an enterprise and counterfeit marks.
Police say he admitted knowing his product were fake.
For Phoenix police, the biggest concern was the counterfeit contacts. They wanted those lenses off the streets for public safety.
"They're causing everything from ulcers to blindness," Officers James Holmes of the Phoenix Police Department said.
In some cases, people who wore the counterfeit contacts for an extended period time had to have them surgically removed, according to Holmes.
Launched last year, BEST is a unit of detectives specializing in protecting Phoenix businesses by investigating and arresting people who traffic in counterfeit and pirated merchandise.
The selling of counterfeit goods has become a major global problem that costs legitimate businesses all over the world billions of dollars every year.