CHICAGO — Authorities in Chicago say they seized over 65,000 counterfeit 3M masks after officers noticed an unfamiliar chemical smell coming from the masks and grammatical errors on the packaging.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement Friday that CBP officers at the Port of Chicago on Monday seized the parcels arriving from Colombia after the smell and grammatical giveaways.
CBP Import Specialists confirmed their suspicions after determining that the forged trademarks on the packaging did not match 3M's.
Officers seized a total of 65,280 3M N-95 masks - worth more than $401,000 if they had been real, according to CBP. The masks were on their way to an unnamed company in Virginia.
This of course is not the first time authorities have unmasked counterfeit goods relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Throughout the past year, criminal enterprises exploited the COVID-19 pandemic to sell counterfeit, unapproved, unsafe PPE, and pharmaceuticals, but CBP has remained focused on its mission to protect consumers, reduce trading costs, and promote a level playing field for American businesses," the department explained in the statement Friday.