Customs officers seize 16,000 counterfeit hoverboards in Chicago

By Ben Hooper  |  Jan. 28, 2016 at 11:52 AM
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CHICAGO, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced officers in Chicago seized 16,000 counterfeit hoverboards with unauthorized batteries and fake trademark logos.

The agency said officers with the Chicago Field Office seized more than $6 million worth of self-balancing scooters shipped into the United States from China.

"This is a fine example of our officers and import specialists ensuring that only safe and legal products enter the U.S.," Director of Field Operations William Ferrara said. "Not only are these hoverboards a serious safety hazard but they also threaten our economic security by hurting legitimate businesses who invest significant amounts of resources into development and protection of their brands."

The agency said "substandard and counterfeit lithium ion batteries" may be to blame for multiple fires and explosions associated with the popular devices.

Officials said the number of seized hoverboards is expected to increase as the investigation continues.

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