Counterfeit COVID-19 medication, test kits, face masks seized in Washington D.C.

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Counterfeit coronavirus tests seen in an undated photo released by U.S. Border Patrol.

Counterfeit coronavirus tests seen in an undated photo released by U.S. Border Patrol.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents continue to make seizures of counterfeit and unapproved COVID-19 products that have been steadily flowing into the country since the beginning of the pandemic.

In the last two weeks, nearly 1,200 pills, including hydroxychloroquine sulfate, and 100 unapproved test kits were seized in Washington D.C., according to CBP officers.

In Baltimore, Customs and Border Protection agents found more than 600 face masks that had counterfeit trademarked logos representing brands like Nike, Adidas and Fila.

Since June 5, officers in the Mid-Atlantic region have completed 11 seizures that included hundreds of unapproved COVID-19 test kits and antibody diagnostic kits, counterfeit N95 masks and supplies of medications like Hydroxychloroquine sulfate, Dipyridmole, Doxycycline and Metformin.

Customs and Border Protection said the products came from Ghana, Hong Kong, Kenya, Mexico, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom and were sent to addresses in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. 

CBP’s Baltimore office has seen a steady flow of COVID-19-related seizures since March, the agency said. There were 18 seizures of counterfeit and unapproved COVID-19 products in early May and  another 12 seizures in early June.

In March, CBP officers seized fake coronavirus test kits at Los Angeles International Airport. The counterfeit products were sent to the state from the United Kingdom, and had come at a time when the state was grappling with a shortage of  coronavirus testing supplies.

“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.”

Correction: A previous version of this story stated an incorrect name for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This post has been updated.

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