Counterfeit Surgical Masks Seized During Operation Pangea, Fake COVID-19 Test Kits Seized by CBP

Europol reports that Operation Pangea found more than 34,000 bogus surgical masks among the 4.4 million illicit pharmaceuticals and 37,000 counterfeit medical devices seized during their seven-day global effort to target counterfeit drug crime. 

Operation Pangea, which is a worldwide, annual law enforcement effort to eliminate the sale of counterfeit medicines and medical devices, took place in the first week of March this year. Coordinated by Interpol, Operation Pangea has 90 participating countries.

In addition to the fake surgical masks, Europol describes a worrying trend in the sales of “corona sprays” and “coronavirus packages” online. The weeklong effort identified more than 2,000 links to COVID-19 related products for sale. 

In the United States, Customs and Border Protection officers at Los Angeles International Airport seized counterfeit COVID-19 test kits that had been shipped to the U.S. from the United Kingdom.  According to the manifest, the package contained purified water vials. Once examined, it was discovered the vials contained a white liquid and were labeled “Corona Virus 2019nconv (COVID-19)” and “Virus1 Test Kit, ” reports American Shipper.

“The American public should be aware of bogus home testing kits for sale either online or in informal direct to consumer settings,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP’s director of field operations in Los Angeles.