Customs agents discovered fake COVID-19 testing kits inside a suspicious package at LAX on Thursday. The package arrived from the United Kingdom.
(Via U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP))
On March 12, 2020, CBP officers discovered six plastic bags containing various vials, while conducting an enforcement examination of a parcel manifested as “Purified Water Vials” with a declared value of $196.81. A complete examination of the shipment, led to the finding of vials filled with a white liquid and labeled “Corona Virus 2019nconv (COVID-19)” and “Virus1 Test Kit”. The shipment was turned over to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for analysis.
“Protecting the health and safety of the American people is a top priority for CBP,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles. “This significant interception, at a time when the U.S. is in the midst of a National Emergency, demonstrates our CBP officers’ vigilance and commitment to ensure dangerous goods are intercepted and not a threat to our communities and our people.”
CBP warned the public in a press release about the dangers of bogus home testing kits that are sold online or via other informal consumer-direct settings. Authorized testing for the COVID-19 virus is administered through verified state and local public health laboratories.
"CBP commits substantial resources to detect, intercept and seize illicit goods arriving in the air package environment," said CBP Port Director at LAX LaFonda Sutton-Burke in a statement. "Smugglers are constantly attempting to take advantage of consumers by disguising their illicit goods as legitimate shipments."