CHICAGO – Customs agents have seized more than 1,000 prohibited COVID-19 testing kits at Chicago’s O’Hare International Aiport, officials said Friday.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers have seen an increase in unapproved or counterfeit COVID-19 tests being shipped through the mail system. At the Chicago O’Hare’s International Mail Facility, which processes 20% of all the international mail coming into the United States, CBP has seized 11 shipments containing 1,147 prohibited test kits worth $10,847. Most of the kits seized came from Great Britain.

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Customs officials say criminals are smuggling and selling counterfeit safety equipment, unapproved testing kits, medicines, and hygiene products to individuals.

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The public should be aware of bogus home testing kits for sale either online or in informal-direct-to-consumer settings and the dangers that they may pose if not administered by medical professionals, U.S. Customs officials said in a news release.

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Customs agents have seized prohibited products at other facilites in the midwest, including Louisville, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis.