US customs officials in Pittsburgh have seized two shipments of fake COVID-19 vaccination cards that were sent from China.
The first package of 20 fake cards was seized in the city of Pittsburgh on 24th August after US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials determined they appeared low-quality and were being imported by someone without a medical background.
CBP officials seized the second shipment of 50 cards on 7th September. Both were destined for the same address in Beaver County in the state of Pennsylvania.
The packages contained a total of 70 fake COVID-19 vaccination cards sent from China, according to the authorities.
Meanwhile, CBP officers in Chicago, Anchorage, and Memphis have seized over 6,000 counterfeit COVID-19 vaccine cards in recent weeks.
Last week, customs officials at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago intercepted a package with19 fake COVID-19 vaccination cards headed from China to a resident in Wapakoneta in Ohio.
The FBI said the buying, selling and use of counterfeit vaccination cards is against the law and places other people at risk.
William Fitting, CBP Port Director in Pittsburgh, said: “Coronavirus and its variants continue to pose a serious health and safety threat to American citizens, and so do unscrupulous vendors who peddle counterfeit COVID vaccination cards.
“Customs and Border Protection will continue to intercept counterfeit goods, such as these fake vaccine cards that threaten our nation, our people and our economy.”
LaFonda Sutton-Burke, CBP director of field operations in Chicago, said: “Counterfeiters are savvy and follow trends in consumer demand, including the high demand for vaccination cards during the pandemic.
“Every officer in the Chicago Field Office is committed to protecting the lives and welfare of every community.”
Earlier this month, Chloe Mrozak of Illinois was jailed in Hawaii after arriving at Honolulu International Airport on 23rd August with a fake vaccine card to avoid mandatory quarantine.