A large shipment of counterfeit surgical masks was recently intercepted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The discovery of 21 boxes containing 10,080 counterfeit surgical masks labeled as 3M Mask Model 1860 happened just before Christmas. Officers noted the boxes were labeled as made in the USA despite being imported from a consumer electronics company in Shenzhen, China.
The information provided with the shipment did not meet the requirements of the 3M Safe Guard product authentication process. CBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise ultimately determined the surgical masks to be counterfeit.
"Our officers are not only protecting the integrity of the American economy through trademark enforcement, they are preventing potentially dangerous and faulty masks from being distributed to our frontline medical personnel," said Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie. "This underscores how counterfeiters completely disregard the human lives while padding their bank accounts."
CBP said the masks were headed to a sales company in Union City, California. The masks had a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price value of $65,520 had the products been genuine.
In Apr. 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, agents in Cincinnati intercepted another large shipment from China of counterfeit masks. Those masks were en route to a residence in Texas.