The shipment that arrived at the San Diego International Airport from Mexico was labeled as “plastic card.” Instead, the the two parcels held 251 illicit COVID-19 testing kits, authorities said this week.
The Dec. 1 seizure at the Port of San Diego is part of a larger trend seen at border crossings and commercial ports, as the black market rises to profit off the demand for testing.
Shipments of tests that are fake, mislabeled or not approved by the Food and Drug Administration have been seen since the early days of the pandemic, with port seizures reported in Rochester, N.Y., Chicago, Indianapolis and elsewhere.
At the Los Angeles Port of Entry in March, a parcel at the international airport’s mail facility was labeled “Purified Water Vials,” according to Customs and Border Protection. After further inspection, officers found vials filled with a white liquid and labeled “Corona Virus 2019nconv (COVID-19)” and “Virus1 Test Kit,” CBP said. The shipment had come from the United Kingdom.
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