U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers assigned to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), International Mail Facility (IMF), intercepted a package containing suspected counterfeit COVID-19 test kits arriving from the United Kingdom.
On March 12, 2020, CBP officers discovered six plastic bags containing various vials, while conducting an enforcement examination of a parcel manifested as “Purified Water Vials” with a declared value of $196.81. A complete examination of the shipment, led to the finding of vials filled with a white liquid and labeled “Corona Virus 2019nconv (COVID-19)” and “Virus1 Test Kit”. The shipment was turned over to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for analysis.
“Protecting the health and safety of the American people is a top priority for CBP,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles. “This significant interception, at a time when the U.S. is in the midst of a National Emergency, demonstrates our CBP officers’ vigilance and commitment to ensure dangerous goods are intercepted and not a threat to our communities and our people.”
Authorized diagnostic testing for COVID-19 is conducted in verified state and local public health laboratories across the United States. The American public should be aware of bogus home testing kits for sale either online or in informal direct to consumer settings.
“CBP commits substantial resources to detect, intercept and seize illicit goods arriving in the air package environment,” said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, CBP Port Director at LAX. “Smugglers are constantly attempting to take advantage of consumers by disguising their illicit goods as legitimate shipments.”