On February 11, 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Cincinnati seized 450 boxes of counterfeit 3M surgical masks; each box contained 240 masks, for a grand total of 108,000 counterfeit items. The boxes were imported on 16 pallets, enough to fill an entire sea container.
Although the retail packaging was marked with “Made in the USA,” the merchandise was imported from a logistics company in Hong Kong. Other indicators of fraudulent activity included a “Peru Seal,” which is not a legitimate 3M seal, and the Model No. 1860S, Lot No. B20522, all features specifically noted by 3M to be counterfeit. Additionally, 3M does not manufacture those respirators in China. The masks were ultimately determined to be counterfeit by CBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise.
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