More than 40,000 counterfeit condoms were confiscated over a five-day period by United States federal agencies in Puerto Rico, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Thursday.
Other agencies involved in the seizure were the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Food and Drug Administration, the CBP release stated.
According to the agency, the fake condoms were imported into the U.S. territory from China.
“CBP works with its partners to protect consumers from imported products that threaten the health and safety of consumers.” said Vernon Foret, who is CBP’s acting director of field operations for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. “Counterfeit and pirated products threaten our economic security and undermine legitimate businesses that invest significant resources into manufacturing safe, quality products.”
The federal agency warned consumers that, unlike legitimate brands, counterfeit condoms — as well as cosmetics and other beauty products — are not subject to strict quality controls, so they could potentially contain harmful substances that may lead to health problems.
Fake condoms, for instance, might not guard against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, according to the release.
Example of hazardous substances found in previously seized cosmetics include cyanide, arsenic, mercury, lead, urine and rat droppings.
“The trafficking of counterfeit goods is simply illegal and in some cases, as this, it becomes a problem of public health,” Ricardo Mayoral, the special agent in charge who oversees HSI operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, said in the release.
“This illegal activity represents a triple threat as it delivers substandard and often dangerous goods into the economy, rob citizens of good-paying jobs, and generate proceeds that are often funneled back into other criminal enterprises,” he added.