A major counterfeiting operation in the US has been thwarted by authorities, say local reports.

According to Associated Press Newswires, 21 people have been arrested for allegedly smuggling hundreds of thousands of fake Nike sneakers into the country from China.

The sneakers are thought to have arrived in New York in shipping containers, before being sold in Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Rochester, NY, as well as Milwaukee, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Pawtucket, RI and the state of Georgia. None were sold by licensed Nike retailers, AP reported.