In the first six months of 2020, Customs and Borden Protection (CBP) officers seized nearly 20,000 counterfeit US driver’s licences at Chicago’s O’Hare airport alone.
According to a CBP report, the 19,888 licences and other fake documents were included in 1,513 overseas shipments, mostly from China and Hong Kong. Others were from South Korea and Britain.
Ralph Piccirilli, CBP’s Acting Area Port Director in Chicago, called the counterfeits “very realistic.”
Piccirilli says these counterfeit driver’s licences can lead to “disastrous consequences.”
“Criminal organisations use these counterfeit IDs to avoid attracting attention to their illegal activities,” he said in a statement.
Fox 32 reports Timothy Lemaux, CBP Port Director of Dallas-Fort Worth in Texas, said seeking out a counterfeit license overseas is risky because you have to give your personal information.
“What is most disconcerting about these interceptions, besides the volume in which we are experiencing, is the ease in which so many young people freely share their personal information with counterfeiters abroad,” he said in a statement.
“We’ll continue to collaborate with local law enforcement to educate the public, and anyone who is contemplating purchasing a counterfeit ID online, on the potential dangers of sharing your personal, identifiable information with a criminal element.”
New York Post reported that this time last year, CBP agents in Kentucky intercepted nearly 3,000 fake US licences and more than 3,000 blank card stocks for counterfeiting licences that were headed for New York City.
CBP officials said that one of the shipments was postmarked to a convicted child rapist in New York, leading agents to believe they might attract minors with the promise of fake IDs.