And the counterfeits could have put Americans' lives at risk.
It seems even the U.S. military can be fooled by Chinese knockoffs.
The U.S. military is required by law to purchase certain goods only from manufacturers in the U.S. or other approved nations. That list of nations does not include China, but it’s now come to light that a Brooklyn clothing and goods wholesaler had been sending samples of military gear to a Chinese manufacturer to copy.
It then sold the knockoff goods to the U.S. military and other government agencies — and the fake gear could have put Americans’ lives at risk.
According to a recent Department of Justice press release, the military and other government agencies paid the Brooklyn wholesaler more than $20 million between January 2013 and October 2018 for various faked goods.
The DOJ has seized more than 1,700 boxes of counterfeit military uniform items from the wholesaler, and the man running the company, Ramin Kohanbash, faces up to 15 years in federal prison.
The most disturbing part of this story is that some of the money the military paid Kohanbash went toward the purchase of 200 parkas made from a special fabric designed to make the wearer harder to detect with night-vision goggles and similar equipment.
The Chinese-made counterfeits weren’t made from that fabric, which could have had devastating consequences if the garments had made it to their intended wearers: Air Force personnel stationed in Afghanistan.
READ MORE: DoD bought phony military gear made in China, including counter-night vision clothing that didn’t actually work [Military Times]
More on military gear: The Army Is Spending Millions on Powered Exoskeletons