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Super Bowl op

The Super Bowl isn’t only one of the biggest events in the sporting calendar; it also means sale of counterfeit goods such as tickets, hats, and jerseys. In the week running up to Super Bowl 53 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) has seized over 6,000 counterfeit sports items estimated to be worth over $250,000. ICE HSI reported that it made 40 arrests associated with its anti-human trafficking operation and rescued four victims in the Atlanta area.

The US federal Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M Nielsen said: “We will not allow criminals to profit from the suffering of the most vulnerable among us. Homeland Security Investigations will continue to work diligently to stop human trafficking that can surge around large events.”

New England Patriots beat the LA Rams 13-3. Nielsen said: “Protecting an event of this magnitude is no small task. Twenty-five DHS entities with nearly 600 personnel are working hand-in-hand with the NFL and local law enforcement to ensure this weekend remains safe and secure.”

DHS says it began planning (as did the Atlanta Police Department) for the event in 2017 through its locally-based Federal Coordination Team; such as providing intelligence, doing physical and cyber assessments; and incident planning and exercising.

Like similar headline events elsewhere, the Super Bowl was a long day – gates at the venue opened at 2pm for the match to begin at 6.30pm on Sunday, February 3 – and the city hosted numerous events to accompany the actual game.


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