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Counterfeit medical, coronavirus test kits seized at O’Hare
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Counterfeit medical, coronavirus test kits seized at O’Hare

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O'Hare International Airport

A plane flies over the south air traffic control tower at O'Hare International Airport Monday, April 22, 2019, in Chicago. 

CHICAGO — Authorities intercepted packages of prohibited medical test kits shipped from the United Kingdom to an O'Hare International Airport facility.

The packages were intercepted Tuesday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers who were assigned to O’Hare International Airport’s International Mail Facility, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Chicago Field Office.

Officials warned the public should be aware there are counterfeit home testing kits being sold on the internet and in informal direct-to-consumer transactions.

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“CBP personnel have done a phenomenal job with intercepting these items,” said Lesley Lukens, chief supervisory officer of the International Mail Facility. “Each seizure provides additional insight into past, current and future smuggling trends to assist CBP with intercepting additional parcels containing similar items that are harmful to our personal health and national security.”

The medical kits included tests for coronavirus among various other viruses and diseases such as meningitis, MRSA and salmonella. Officials noted there was generally one coronavirus test kit per each package.

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The tests were given to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to be analyzed. The Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act bans adulterated and misbranded products to be delivered or introduced into interstate commerce.

Officials said authorized coronavirus tests are conducted in verified state and local laboratories.

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“Counterfeit products have serious consequences to everyone,” said Hans Leiterman, assistant area port director in Chicago.“CBP seizures of illegally imported counterfeit merchandise helps protect the health and safety of U.S. citizens, and the reputation of marketplaces involved in these transactions.”

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Since March 1, U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel at the Chicago International Mail Facility location have conducted 793 seizures of incoming international mail. This includes 402 narcotic seizures, 59 counterfeit goods seizures, 159 firearm suppressor seizures, 138 fraudulent I.D. seizures, 603 scam letter seizures and 33 counterfeit U.S. cash seizures.

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Night Crime/Breaking News Reporter

Anna Ortiz is the breaking news/crime reporter for The Times, covering crime, politics, courts and investigative news. She is a graduate of Ball State University with a major in journalism and minor in anthropology. 219-933-4194, anna.ortiz@nwi.com

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