MANALABAN, New Jersey – US Customs and Border Protection officers in Chicago confiscated a shipment of fake N95 face masks from Shenzhen, China, last week, authorities said.
Officials said in a press release that the package was destined for a company in Manalapan. The identity of the company was not immediately announced.
The shipment, which was seized on September 10, contained 500,000 N95 respirators with an estimated value of $ 3,074,385 in the US market, according to an assessment by an import specialist.
30 masks from the packages were subsequently sent to the CDC Test Bureau in West Virginia, where tests concluded that 10 percent of the respirators tested had an efficiency rating of less than 95 percent.
The shipment was seized in a Home Office investigation under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act Adulterated or Deformed Products.
“Our Customs and Border Protection officers working with HSI partners were able to stop this flawed mask[s] Of being sold under the guise of total protection to Americans, Shane Campbell, Chicago Port Area Director, said in a statement. “These masks do not meet the safety standards set by the CDC, thus endangering the public, threatening the health and well-being of everyone.”
After testing, the shipment was handed over to the Department of Homeland Security for further investigation.
US Customs and Border Protection said in a press release: “Some organizations are trying to take advantage of the limited supply and increasing demand for some medicines, personal protective equipment, and other medical goods required to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Among other products, these criminals are smuggling and selling counterfeit safety equipment, unapproved COVID-19 test kits, unproven medicines and substandard hygiene products through the online marketplace.”
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