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Philadelphia CBP Seizes Counterfeit and Altered African Passports Destined to Florida

Release Date: 
July 24, 2020

PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers intercepted seven counterfeit and altered African passports in Philadelphia Wednesday that were destined to an address in Palm Beach County, Florida.

Customs and Border Protection officers seized seven altered African passports in Philadelphia on July 22, 2020 that arrived in an express air parcel from Turkey.
Philadelphia CBP officers seized this
altered Gambia passport and six others.

While examining arriving international air parcels, CBP officers inspected a shipment from Turkey manifested as documents. Inside officers discovered seven passports from African nations that appeared altered, lacked sufficient security features and used identical photos in more than one passport. The seven passports were allegedly issued by the governments of Angola, Benin, Gambia, Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

CBP officers seized the passports. An investigation continues.

“These counterfeit passports pose a serious security threat to the United States because they might have been used by nefarious persons to violate our nation’s immigration laws to gain benefits or to cause severe harm to our nation and our citizens,” said Casey Durst, CBP’s Director of Field Operations in Baltimore. “Customs and Border Protection officers remain steadfast in our commitment to intercept illicit people and products at our nation’s borders every day to keep us safe.”

Counterfeit or altered passports may also involve the theft of an innocent victim’s identity.

CBP officers screen international travelers and cargo and search for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality. Learn more about what CBP accomplished during "A Typical Day" in 2019.

CBP's border security mission is led at ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations.  Please visit CBP Ports of Entry to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders. Learn more about CBP at www.CBP.gov.

Follow the Director of CBP’s Baltimore Field Office on Twitter at @DFOBaltimore and on Instagram at @dfobaltimore for breaking news, current events, human interest stories and photos.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021