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CBP at El Paso seizes shipment of tampered cleaning supplies

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the ports of entry remain watchful of fraudulent imports that take advantage of Americans during the COVID-19 crisis.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the El Paso, Texas port of entry removed a truckload of tampered cleaning products that were destined for the U.S. market.

“In the current environment it is reprehensible that someone would attempt a scheme like this to prey upon the concerns and fears of our community, likely for financial gain,” said Hector Mancha, CBP’s director of field operations at El Paso, in a statement.

The box truck arrived at the port of entry from Mexico on March 16.

During an inspection by CBP officers, the truck driver showed a manifest stating that the shipment contained cleaning supplies and toilet paper, including 168 boxes of Clorox bleach (127 oz.), 75 boxes of Pinol cleaner (33.81 oz.), 28 boxes of Fabuloso cleaner (169 oz.), 23 boxes of Pinol cleaner (27.99 oz.), 9 boxes of Clorox cleaner (31.44 oz.), and 20 boxes of Adorable brand toilet paper.

CBP officers, along with assistance from National Guard soldiers, found that many of the bleach bottles lacked safety seals, an indication of tampering. The bleach scent was also noticeably absent to the officers.

“Initial field-testing showed that the products contained water,” CBP said.

A Clorox Co. (NYSE: CLX) representative also advised CBP that the Spanish labeled product was not permitted for sale in the U.S., the agency said.

Chris Gillis

Located in the Washington, D.C. area, Chris Gillis primarily reports on regulatory and legislative topics that impact cross-border trade. He joined American Shipper in 1994, shortly after graduating from Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Md., with a degree in international business and economics.