U.S. Customs has seized more than $95 million in counterfeit items and Border Protection (CBP) agents in Louisville since the beginning of September, it was announced on Wed. Nov. 27.
Only days earlier, U.S. Customs officials stated they had just confiscated 5,000 fake IDs.
According to a statement from CBP, six shipments originating in China and heading to New York contained 2,909 fake drivers licenses and 3,123 blank cards that are used to make counterfeit licenses from states including Florida, Michigan, Illinois, New Jersey, and Ohio.
According to CBP, one of the confiscated shipments was headed to a person convicted of child rape in New York.
“It’s suspected that this consignee entices minors with alcohol and counterfeit IDs before engaging in illicit activity,” CBP said in a statement.
“Some of the major concerns as it relates to fraudulent identity documents is identity theft, worksite enforcement, critical infrastructure protection, fraud linked to immigration-related crimes,” Thomas Mahn, the Louisville port director, said in a statement.
Those other crimes include “human smuggling and human trafficking,” he said, “and these documents can be used by those individuals associated with terrorism to minimize scrutiny from travel screening measures.”
“These counterfeits are often comprised of toxic substances such as lead, methanol, antifreeze, urine, arsenic, mercury, and cancer-causing substances,” according to Mahn, who said counterfeiters “have no moral compass and will counterfeit just about anything to make a buck.”
Not only can these fake products be a danger to consumers, but by buying them you may be supporting child-trafficking, drug trafficking and terrorist activities.
“We often encounter counterfeit makeup, perfumes, toys, clothing, electronics, machinery parts, basically, anything in demand we’ve seen it,” Mahn said. “The movement of these goods into online marketplaces pose a significant risk to the American consumer.”
In May, customs agents in Louisville seized $1.3 million in counterfeit watches and scarves.
“Counterfeit and pirated goods pose a serious danger to America’s economic vitality and national security and public safety. Our officers understand their critical role in protecting the U.S. from not only terrorist threats, and narcotics smuggling, but also safeguarding the American consumer and companies from counterfeit products that hurt our economy.” said Mahn.