Thousands of counterfeit, unapproved COVID-19 items discovered at area ports

BALTIMORE — U.S. Customs and Border agents have intercepted another large haul of counterfeit or unapproved COVID-19 supplies including test kits, medication and face masks.

The most recent seizure was made at the Port of Washington, D.C., where nearly 1,200 pills, including Hydroxychloroquine sulfate, and 100 unapproved test kits were recovered over the last two weeks.

Over at the Port of Baltimore, more than 600 face masks imprinted with counterfeit brand logos of Nike, Adidas, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and European soccer teams.

Since June 5, officers at the Ports of Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, and the Ports of Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Wilmington, Delaware, have completed 11 seizures that resulted in the discovery of the following items.

145 unapproved or counterfeit COVID-19 test kits;337 unapproved or counterfeit COVID-19 antibody diagnostic kits;792 unapproved or counterfeit N95 respirator masks and other face masks;1,188 doses of Hydroxychloroquine sulfate, Dipyridmole, Doxycycline, Metformin; and960 doses of Lianhua Qingwen Jianonangcee and Lianhua Qingwen Pian capsules;

The products are not on the current Emergency Use Authorization List and the manufacturers aren’t on the list of firms who have provided compliance notification to the FDA.

RELATED: U.S. Customs and Border Protection seize counterfeit, unapproved COVID-19 meds and PPE

Many arrived from Ghana, Hong Kong, Kenya, Mexico, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom and were destined to addresses in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

“Predatory scammers continue to prey on consumer fear by peddling these counterfeit or unapproved and potentially dangerous products as legitimate COVID-19 protective equipment or medicines,” said Casey Durst, CBP’s Director of Field Operations in Baltimore. “Customs and Border Protection officers will continue to work with our consumer safety partners to identify and seize products that could potentially harm American citizens.”

CBP’s Baltimore Field Office officers have seen a steady flow of COVID-19-related seizures since March and announced 18 seizures of counterfeit and unapproved COVID-19 products in early May and an additional 12 seizures of COVID-19 related products in early June.

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