U.S. Customers and Border Protection agents in Chicago recovered a total of 743 counterfeit driver's licenses through examining more than 100 shipments in early to mid April, according to a news release from the agency.
During an enforcement operation from April 1 to 15, CBP officers seized 122 shipments with driver's licenses from all over the country including Illinois, Florida, New Jersey, Minnesota, Texas and other states.
All of the driver’s licenses were hidden within handbags, jewelry boxes and various toys. Most originated from China and were en route to residences across the U.S. The licenses are considered counterfeit based on the lack of fine line detail, and exhibit features that are not consistent with the document type, CBP stated.
According to agency officials, some fake IDs may be bought by college students who have not yet turned 21 years old, but for others, the reason for purchasing may be more nefarious.
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"“Some of the major concerns as they relate to fraudulent identity documents include identity theft, worksite enforcement, critical infrastructure protection, fraud linked to immigration-related crimes such as human smuggling and human trafficking, and these documents can be used by those individuals associated with terrorism to minimize their scrutiny undergoing travel screening measures," said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, director of field operations at CBP's Chicago Field Office.