Cincinnati - A package from India manifested as containing "Harmless Generic Medicine" was recently stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Cincinnati DHL express consignment facility. After inspection, CBP officers found the parcel contained more than 8,000 counterfeit tablets of a drug called Tadalafil. Unsafe and manufactured by an unlicensed company, these tablets were seized and added to the 1,000 pound mountain of fake, illegal and dangerous tablets, powders and liquids that officers have seized at the hub during this fiscal year.
CBP has made more than 300 interceptions of shipments with illegal substances at the DHL express consignment hub thus far in FY 2011, as compared to 209 during the same period last year which shows a record 43 percent increase. The weight of this year's seizures totals 1,046 pounds.
"When people order any type of medication or other substance over the internet from an unlicensed company, it may seem like a bargain and a way to save money in such economically hard times but they fail to realize that they can also lose their money, their health, and even their life," said David Murphy, CBP Chicago Director of Field Operations. "It is one of the jobs of CBP to protect people and legitimate businesses by seizing unsafe and unknown substances. The fact is that nobody knows what is in these items being manufactured by unlicensed companies. The ingredients, strength, dosages and manufacturing processes are an unknown, so in the end, it is really no bargain but rather a potential health risk."
Violative substances, regulated pharmaceuticals and designer drugs intercepted at this location include Tadalafil, Filagra, Xanax, Gamma-Butyrolacatone (GBL), Counterfeit Viagra, Sildenafil and variations of synthetic marijuana. CBP violations include false invoicing, Intellectual Property Rights and Schedule 1 controlled substance violations.
Seized shipments range in size from thousands of tablets in plastic baggies and gallons of liquid to small parcels with only a few tablets. The substances were being sent to various destinations, some locations in the United States and others throughout the world. On July 20, CBP intercepted a shipment of counterfeit 8,080 Tadalafil tablets that was en route from India to Belize.
CBP officers who work at express consignment operations inspect shipments coming into this country as well as those transiting through to other countries. There are 25 express consignment hubs located throughout the nation where CBP officers process millions of inbound and outbound parcels each night.
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 the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.