Officers for U.S. Customs and Border Protection at an Express Consignment Operations hub in Louisville recently seized six shipments containing 2,909 counterfeit driver’s licenses and 3,123 blank card stocks to make counterfeit driver’s licenses.
All of these shipments originated from China and were being shipped to various people in the New York area. The driver’s license were for various states to include: Florida, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio and other coastal states. CBP Louisville also notified CBP Memphis as they also had shipments in their area which resulted in an additional 527 counterfeit driver’s licenses.
One of these shipments seized was identified as being consigned to a convicted child rapist in the New York area. It’s suspected that this consignee entices minors with alcohol and counterfeit IDs before engaging in illicit activity. Border Enforcement Security Task (BEST) Force in Louisville and Chicago’s Tactical Analytical Unit also identified similarities between multiple shipments destined to multiple consignees. BEST Louisville presented the findings to the Homeland Security Investigation New York Office who validated they were all interconnected. HSI is continuing to investigate.
While CBP sees these dark web transactions frequently, according to Thomas Mahn, Louisville Port Director, the reasoning for buying fake IDs has evolved from teenagers trying to get into bars to more nefarious activity. “Some of the major concerns as it relates to fraudulent identity documents is 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 scrutiny from travel screening measures.”
CBP Officers 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.