Confiscated Counterfeit Makeup Worth $700,000 Had Bacteria, Feces, LAPD Says

Los Angeles police confirmed they confiscated $700,000 worth of bootleg cosmetics containing animal feces, human waste and bacteria. Twenty-one stores in the city’s Fashion District were raided, leading to the massive confiscation of counterfeit cosmetics.

“Busted! Major Task Force hits 21 locations in the @LAFashinDist and nets $700,000 in Counterfeit cosmetics found to contain bacteria and human waste. The best price is not always the best deal!” Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Captain Marc Reina tweeted Friday.

RTS1MXDD Make-up brushes are seen backstage before the Sangue Novo Fall/Winter 2018/19 collection show during Lisbon Fashion Week, Portugal March 9, 2018. On April 12, 2018, Los Angeles Police raided 21 stores and confiscated $700,000 worth of counterfeit makeup with traces of bacteria and feces. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

The confiscated makeup included popular brands such as MAC, NARS, Kylie Cosmetics by Kylie Jenner and Urban Decay, KABC reported. Detective Rick Ishitani of the LAPD told the news station that the cosmetics’ price reveals whether it is counterfeit or not.

“If you’re getting something that’s 50 percent off, 75 percent off - it tells you that it’s bad,” Ishitani told KABC.

The detective told KTLA that a similar raid was conducted last February after the police department received complaints from customer who got itches and bumps from counterfeit makeup. According to KTLA, the cosmetics seized in the last raid were found to have high levels of bacteria, as well as traces of animal feces and urine.

Ishitani told KABC that customers complained of getting bumps and rashes from products bought in Santee Alley. The complaints prompted the Anti-Piracy Unit to conduct undercover buys to test the products. Police also tested the cosmetics seized on Thursday and found high levels of bacteria and animal feces.

The LAPD detective also said that companies must meet health and safety standards, which are often expensive. Counterfeit cosmetics, however, do not meet those standards.

“Those feces will just basically somehow get mixed into the product they’re manufacturing in their garage or in their bathroom- wherever they’re manufacturing this stuff,” Ishitani said.

Authorities arrested six people, who are expected to be charged with trademark violations of major brands. Fifteen more people were served with cease and desist orders, KTLA reported.