LOUISVILLE, Ky— Fraudulent driver’s licenses, which can be used for criminal activity or fraud, continue to be found by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Express Consignment Operations hub across the nation.
Earlier this morning, Louisville CBP detained two shipments that were arriving from Hong Kong. The contents were described as postcard and postcard box. Officers inspected the shipments and found 2,857 counterfeit state driver's licenses in one shipment and 1,565 fakes in the second shipment. This is the third time in 10 days officers have seized a shipment of counterfeit driver’s licenses. On October 12, officers seized 1,094 counterfeits and on October 24 officers seized 2,265 counterfeits. This means in 14 days officers have seized a total of 7,789 counterfeit driver’s licenses.
“These significant seizures are just a small aperture of the great work our CBP officers perform daily,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Director, Field Operations-Chicago. “CBP officers are the front-line of stopping these nefarious shipments from reaching their intended destination. I am proud of our officers and their vigilance. We remain committed to the security of our nation.”
The counterfeit licenses seized were for several states including California, Ohio, Georgia, Connecticut, Wisconsin, New York, New Jersey, Indiana, Minnesota, Iowa, and Michigan. Most were for college-age students, and some licenses would share the same picture but have a different name.
“That’s a lot of counterfeit driver’s licenses and the reason is not always so college age kids, who are under 21, can consume alcohol, but also be utilized for fraudulent activities,” said Thomas Mahn, Port Director-Louisville. “Many of these licenses can and would be used to defraud government benefit programs, commit credit fraud by using a false identity, or carry out consumer fraud, which can damage the economy and cost the American people.”
Counterfeit documents are fake documents that have the appearance of legal documentation but are not issued by a legitimate organization or government agency and are not recognized in the United States as official travel or identification instruments. Only two companies have authorization by the U.S. Department of State to print international driver’s licenses in the United States: The American Automobile Association (AAA) or American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA). The IDs are considered counterfeit based upon the lack of fine line detail, and exhibit features that are not consistent with the document type.
CBP Officers coordinate findings with CBP’s Fraudulent Document Analysis Unit, Homeland Security Investigations, and other federal partners to combat this illicit activity.
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.