LOUISVILLE, Ky.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Louisville have made no less than 400 seizures of counterfeit identification in the past six months.
Back in November, CBP officers seized six shipments containing 2,909 counterfeit driver’s licenses and 3,123 blank card stocks to make counterfeit driver’s licenses. And the seizures are not only of counterfeit IDs. These seizures include passports, I-551 Legal Permanent Resident cards, and miscellaneous ID cards. Many of the seizures involving driver’s licenses had officers finding 20 to 40 in each shipment.
On December 6, 2019, CBP officers intercepted a package from China. This small box had a false bottom, which contained 31 counterfeit driver’s licenses. After some investigating, one of the persons that was waiting for his fake ID was found to be a Trusted Traveler member. His membership was revoked, and on February 20, he was arrested in Newark by the Port Authority Police Department after returning from his vacation. Additionally, he had another counterfeit driver’s license in his possession at the time of the arrest.
“Counterfeit IDs directly aids and influences the availability of underage persons to purchase alcohol and tobacco products, said Chief CBP Officer Brian Lick. “CBP’s interception of these IDs significantly reduces the chances for alcohol to be procured in establishments and all the entanglements that often accompanies underage drinking. But alcohol is not the only risk; procurement of fake IDs plays a role in identity theft, immigration and public benefit fraud and terrorist motives.”
Identity theft and fraudulent activities are major concerns of CBP. Counterfeit identification can be very dangerous when it is used by criminals to take advantage of people or organizations. “I believe we are seeing more counterfeit IDs as they are being utilized in benefit fraud and scams,” said Louisville Port Director Thomas Mahn.
Over these past six months, CBP officers have seized 28 fake birth certificates, 5,063 counterfeit driver’s licenses, and 46 fraudulent passports.
CBP Officers remain diligent in searching for counterfeit identification, through the art of targeting and physical inspections, and coordinate findings with CBP’s Fraudulent Document Analysis Unit, Homeland Security Investigations and other federal partners in an effort to combat this illicit activity. CBP routinely conducts inspection operations on arriving and departing international flights and intercepts narcotics, weapons, currency, prohibited agriculture products, counterfeit goods, and other illicit items at our nation’s 328 international ports of entry.