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.