LOUISVILLE, Ky – On July 23, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Louisville, seized a shipment containing 10 boxes of the harmful Virus Shut Out devices.
The shut out devices claim efficacy against Corona virus strains and often contain the hazardous pesticide Chlorine Dioxide, a pesticide that can leech into the skin on contact, cause breathing issues, and lead to additional health concerns for the wearer. The shutout devices often lead to a false sense of security and in no way protects the bearer from the Coronavirus.
The shipment was arriving from Hong Kong and was destined for a residence in Louisville. In total the shipment contained, 10,000 virus shut out devices. The shipments included false or misleading claims, lacked required warnings, and failed to obtain EPA approval as to their efficacy claim. It is also unlawful to import a Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act regulated pesticide into the United States and these shipments were ultimately seized by CBP. The domestic value of these devices was $145,800.
“Predatory scammers continue to prey on consumer fears by marketing and shipping potentially dangerous products as legitimate devices that will keep them safe from COVID-19,” said Thomas Mahn, Port Director-Louisville. “I’m proud of the continued efforts of our CBP officers, as they work day in and day out to protect our community and prevent illicit items, like these devices, from causing harm or give false sense of security.”
Criminals are continuing to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic for illegal financial gain. Criminals are smuggling and selling counterfeit safety equipment, unapproved testing kits, medicines, and hygiene products to individuals. To combat this, CBP is targeting imports and exports – mainly in the international mail and express consignment cargo environments – that may contain counterfeit or illicit goods.
CBP routinely conducts inspection operations on arriving and departing international flights and intercepts narcotics, weapons, currency, prohibited agriculture products, counterfeit goods, and other illicit items at our nation’s 328 international ports of entry.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.