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Tourists Trapped!

A knockoff shopping expedition lasted longer than expected for 12 tourists visiting New York's Chinatown yesterday.  The New York Post reports that when police raided the building, the counterfeit retailers refused to let the would-be customers leave the basement -- for 2 hours.

When cops cataloging fake merchandise finally received a call alerting them to the presence of unwilling guests downstairs, they found not only visitors from Spain, Georgia, and Florida, but also a cache of counterfeit Cartier and Rolex watches.  Apparently the tourists were relieved not to be in legal trouble themselves, but the same can't be said for their hosts, three of whom have been charged with unlawful imprisonment as well as counterfeiting. 

Having witnessed similar (albeit much shorter term) behavior by merchants anticipating a raid, I can imagine the tourists' discomfort at their predicament.  Then again, it could have been worse -- at least they weren't stuck on JetBlue.