WASHINGTON — U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized more than 300 fraudulent U.S. driver’s licenses, printing equipment, hard drives and blank driver’s licenses in a traveler’s luggage at the Abu Dhabi Preclearance facility.
On July 13, a CBP officer working at the Automated Passport Control kiosks, encountered a 55-year-old, male U.S. citizen traveling from Nigeria in transit to the United States. The officer referred the passenger to the secondary inspection area due to his extreme nervous behavior.
During the secondary inspection, a baggage exam revealed a laptop, a printer, a magicJack USB, a floppy disc, a hard drive, and 348 blank driver’s licenses with bar codes. All of the items were seized and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for further investigation.
"Preclearance operations allows U.S. Customs and Border Protection to stop threats and contraband from entering the United States prior to arrival,” said Kurry Pastilong, deputy director of Preclearance Operations, “This seizure is a great example of what CBP officers and agriculture specialists intercept at Preclearance locations around the world, which could have been used to provide fraudulent identification cards and driver’s licenses had it made it into the United States.”
CBP Preclearance operations allow for advance inspection of passengers and special coordination with law enforcement upon arrival in the United States. Through preclearance, the same immigration, customs, and agriculture inspections of international air passengers performed on arrival in the United States are instead completed before departure at foreign airports. Currently, preclearance operations exist at 15 foreign airports in six different countries, benefitting air passengers, airports, and air carriers, in the United States and abroad.
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.