A total of 240 3M face masks were seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in late May at Chicago's O'Hare Interational Airport, a CBP spokesman said.
On May 30, a package from China listed as "industrial masks" was selected for an exam due to x-ray inconsistencies.
Import specialists noted the poor packaging, low value and poor quality, and sent the masks to a 3M Authenticator, according to a news release. The masks were deemed to be counterfeit, which is an Intellectual Property Rights violation.
The package was destined for a residence in suburban Buffalo Grove.
“Criminals are exploiting consumers during the ongoing pandemic for sheer greed” said Shane Campbell, CBP area port director. “These counterfeit masks may not meet safety standards, which puts the public at risk, jeopardizing the health and well being of everyone."
According to officials, several other products have been smuggled during the coronavirus pandemic include counterfeit safety equipment, unapproved COVID-19 test kits, unproven medicines and substandard hygiene products.