Federal agents have seized hundreds of counterfeit sensors used to monitor tire pressure from motor vehicles that were linked from Hong Kong to a home in Brooklyn Park, authorities said Wednesday.
The 300 sensors bearing a General Motors stamp were first detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers on May 30 upon arrival at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, then they were officially seized on Monday, the agency said.
If the sensors had been genuine, their retail price would have totaled $28,500, CBP said.
More importantly, the agency explained, these counterfeit sensors would create a security risk if installed on a vehicle. By monitoring the air pressure inside the tires, genuine sensors improve driving safety, increase gas mileage and extend the life of properly inflated tires.
“Our officers not only protect the integrity of the American economy through trademark enforcement, but they also secure manufacturing supply chains by preventing the installation of potentially dangerous products on your car,” said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, director of field operations for CBP. Chicago Field Office, said in a statement.
“It shows how counterfeiters completely ignore human lives and their safety while filling their bank accounts,” Sutton-Burke added.
CBP spokesman Steven Bansbach declined to reveal the address of the Brooklyn park where the sensors were headed.
Bansbach said the case is now in the hands of the US Department of Homeland Security’s investigative arm to determine whether criminal charges will be filed.
When CBP first saw the sensors and suspected they were fake, the agency contacted General Motors. The automaker “within 24 hours…confirmed that they were indeed counterfeits,” the CBP statement said.
“CBP is focused on identifying and intercepting these types of dangerous goods entering the United States,” said Augustine Moore, port manager for CBP in Minneapolis. “Trade enforcement at U.S. ports of entry remains a priority for us.”
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Post expires at 1:24am on Monday June 27th, 2022