U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered a shipment at LAX containing what authorities believe are fake coronavirus test kits from the United Kingdom, the agency said Saturday.
The package, labeled as "Purified Water Vials," had a declared value of nearly $200, according to a news release from the agency. While making an enforcement examination of the shipment on Thursday, officers discovered six plastic bags of vials containing white liquid and labeled "Corona Virus 2019nconv (COVID-19)" and "Virus1 Test Kit."
Authorities cautioned against trusting online markets or informal direct-to-consumer sellers claiming to offer testing kits for the coronavirus.
"CBP commits substantial resources to detect, intercept and seize illicit goods arriving in the air package environment," said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, CBP port director at LAX, in the news release. "Smugglers are constantly attempting to take advantage of consumers by disguising their illicit goods as legitimate shipments."
The packaged was submitted to the Food and Drug Administration for analysis, the CBP said.
"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," said Carlos Martel, CBP director of field operations in Los Angeles, in the news release.