Chicago - Since September 2009, Chicago Customs and Border Protection officers working at the International Mail Facility near O'Hare Airport have seized more than three million foreign diet pill capsules containing an unlisted ingredient that could prove hazardous to health if taken by unsuspecting persons.
According to CBP, a controlled substance called sibutramine was found in the diet pills but was not listed on the bottles or containers as an ingredient. Sibutramine is a controlled Schedule IV narcotic that requires a doctor's prescription to obtain.
The number of imported shipments containing the unlisted controlled substance sibutramine has greatly increased in recent months with Chicago CBP finding some parcels containing more than 150,000 capsules. These shipments originated in China, Hong Kong, Mexico and Laos. They include products called 2 Day Diet; 7 Day Herbal Diet; Fatloss Slimming; Perfect Slim; Powerful Slim; Super Fat Burner and Super Slimming. Some of the pills are destined for individuals and others are addressed to businesses such as beauty salons, barber shops and small neighborhood grocery and health food stores.
"CBP officers diligently work at our international mail facilities inspecting millions of foreign parcels coming in to this country day after day," said David J. Murphy, CBP director of Field Operations in Chicago. "Everything from dangerous drugs to diet pills to anything that is hazardous and can do harm,
CBP is ever vigilant and on watch to find and seize every conceivable type of contraband attempting to come into this country and stop it at our nation's doorsteps."
CBP International Mail Facilities are located in Chicago; Los Angeles; San Francisco; San Juan, P.R.; Seattle; Honolulu; Jamaica, N.Y.; Miami; Jersey City, N.J. and Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands.
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.