Officials: $3 million in counterfeit N95 masks from China seized in Chicago

National News

CHICAGO (WGN) — The U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Monday that it had seized 500,000 counterfeit N95 masks in Chicago in a shipment from Shenzhen, China last week.

The Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team removed 30 masks from the shipment arriving at O’Hare International Airport and sent them to a CDC testing office. The results found that 10% of the masks had a filter efficiency below the required 95%.

“These masks did not meet the safety standards outlined by the CDC, which puts the public at risk, jeopardizing the health and well-being of everyone,” said Shane Campbell, Area Port Director-Chicago.

An appraisal estimated the domestic value of the masks to be more than $3,000,000 — well over six times the MSRP value due to the high demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The mask shipment was turned over to Homeland Security Investigation for further enforcement and investigation.

CBP reports various groups have tried to distribute counterfeit safety equipment, COVID-19 test kits and hygiene products.

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