NEW YORK—U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced today that 20,000 Zolpidem pills, a schedule IV controlled substance, have been seized thanks to a collaborative enforcement effort with the German Customs Investigations Bureau Zollkriminalamt.
"Timely information from Zollkriminalamt and excellent targeting and coordination efforts by CBP's Pharmaceuticals Center of Excellence and Expertise resulted in this significant interception, keeping these harmful pills off of our streets," said Robert E. Perez, Director of Field Operations in New York. "We thank our partners in German Customs for their ongoing collaboration."
"We are very happy that the joint collaboration between CBP and the Zollkriminalamt was successful," said Dr. Ulrike Berg-Haas, German Customs liaison. "The Zollkriminalamt intends to pursue this excellent cooperation against growing global threats. We look forward to our continued work together and are confident, that this will not be the last joint operation."
The seizure occurred at the San Francisco International Mail Facility. Acting on information provided by the Zollkriminalamt, CBP's Pharmaceutical CEE targeted several shipments, and CBP officers at the International Mail Facility intercepted numerous parcels originating in India that had transited Germany. Upon closer examination of the suspect parcels, CBP personnel discovered that the 10 parcels contained a total of 20,000 Zolpidem pills, a Schedule IV controlled substance, and seized the pills.
This enforcement action follows another collaborative enforcement effort in March between CBP and French Customs Fake Medicine Observatory when CBP personnel seized 400 Carisoprodol pills, another schedule IV controlled substance.
As these seizures illustrate, CBP collaborates with its international partners to intercept merchandise that infringes on registered trademarks, is made of substandard materials, or contains prohibited substances that may represent a threat to public safety.
The Pharmaceutical, Health and Chemicals CEE is one of 10 virtual centers that provide one-stop processing to lower the trade's cost of business, provide greater consistency and predictability and enhance CBP enforcement efforts. The Centers represent CBP's expanded focus on "Trade in the 21st Century," transforming customs procedures to align with modern business. The CEEs will also serve as resources to the broader trade community and to CBP's U.S. government partners.
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.