Authorities seize $600,000 of counterfeit PPE at Texas warehouse

US Homeland security

Federal authorities report that the counterfeit face masks were likely destined for hospitals on the East Coast.

The counterfeit 3M N95 face masks where confiscated at a warehouse in El Paso, Texas. 100,000 masks were estimated to be worth $600,000.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and Border Protection released a statement on Wednesday 9th December 2020 to inform that the 3M N95 face masks had been prevented from being supplied to East Coast hospitals after the shipment intercept at Ysleta Cargo Facility on Thursday 3rd December 2020.

ICE and CBP, under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security reported that since April 2020, they have arrested more than 187 people and confiscated $28 million in assets as part of “Operation Stolen Promise”, aiming to stop the black market of counterfeit COVID-19 products.

“HSI will continue to aggressively investigate, arrest and prosecute criminal counterfeiters who show a total disregard for human life and take advantage of a relentless world pandemic for economic gain,” Erik P. Breitzke, acting special agent in charge of HSI El Paso, said in the statement.

Ysleta Port Director Arnoldo Gomez added: “This large seizure of counterfeit surgical masks, destined for frontline medical workers, demonstrates the great collaborative effort between CBP and HSI.”

In July, HSI’s National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center told reporters that more than 50% of all counterfeit goods were coming from China.

Source: ABC News

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