Fake Coronavirus Test Kits Seized at Los Angeles International Airport

March 17, 2020
U.S. Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Customs and Border Protection


Customs officers at Los Angeles International Airport on Thursday seized what appeared to be dozens of counterfeit test kits for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, on Saturday.

According to a statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, CBP officers assigned to LAX discovered what appeared to be six plastic bags containing various vials while they were examining a package labeled "Purified Water Vials" with a declared value of $196.81.



However, a closer inspection of the package revealed the vials contained a white liquid and were labeled as "Corona Virus 2019ncov (COVID-19)" and "Virus1 Test Kit," the CBP statement said.

The package arrived in the U.S. after it was shipped from the United Kingdom on Thursday. CBP officials

“Protecting the health and safety of the American people is a top priority for CBP,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles. “This significant interception, at a time when the U.S. is in the midst of a National Emergency, demonstrates our CBP officers’ vigilance and commitment to ensure dangerous goods are intercepted and not a threat to our communities and our people.”

The shipment of fake tests was turned over to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the statement added.

“CBP commits substantial resources to detect, intercept and seize illicit goods arriving in the air package environment,” said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, CBP Port Director at LAX. “Smugglers are constantly attempting to take advantage of consumers by disguising their illicit goods as legitimate shipments.” 

Currently, there are 81 labs across all 50 states that are able to conduct testing for COVID-19. So far, the number of cases in the U.S. has passed 3,400 with at least 61 people have passed from the disease.