For the second time in a week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers discovered 2,265 counterfeit driver’s licenses inside an inbound package at Louisville’s Port of Entry on October 19.
Counterfeit documents are fake documents that have the appearance of legal documentation but are not issued by a legitimate organization or government agency and are not recognized in the United States as official travel or identification instruments. Counterfeit documents, such as these driver’s licenses, can be used as a means for college students who have not yet turned the age of 21, to enter a bar or business that sells and serves alcohol. Unfortunately, these students put themselves at great risk when purchasing these fake documents.
“These counterfeit driver’s licenses can lead to disastrous consequences,” said Thomas Mahn, Port Director-Louisville. “Criminal organizations use these counterfeit IDs to avoid attracting attention to their illegal activities. Our CBP officers were able to identify these very realistic counterfeits and stop them from reaching their destinations.”
The shipment contained driver’s licenses from all over the U.S. All the driver’s licenses were concealed inside the shipment manifested as postcards to avoid detection. The licenses were arriving from Hong Kong and all lacked security features and were poor-quality. Only two companies have authorization by the U.S. Department of State to print international driver’s licenses in the United States: The American Automobile Association (AAA) or American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA). The IDs are considered counterfeit based upon the lack of fine line detail, and exhibit features that are not consistent with the document type.
“The use of counterfeit IDs is often linked to terrorist cells, human trafficking, and other illicit and dangerous activities,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke. Director, Field Operations-Chicago Field Office. “Our officers are trained to identify many different kinds of fake or illegally modified documents, and they work 24/7 to stop them from coming into the country.”
On October 12, CBP seized a package that contained 1,094 fake driver’s licenses.
CBP officers coordinate identification findings with CBP’s Fraudulent Document Analysis Unit, Homeland Security Investigations, and other federal partners to combat any illicit activity. Visit CBP’s YouTube channel to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders.
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.Counterfeit Fraud Interdiction New Trends US Customs