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CBP warns online buyers after seizing foreign cold and flu medications, diluted cleaning supplies at southern border

Shipments that are not FDA approved can be seized without the customer getting reimbursed. And the customer and exporter could be subject to penalties.
Credit: CBP

EL PASO, Texas — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers have a message for people searching for cleaning supplies and medicine to get them through the current coronavirus pandemic: buyer beware.

The warning comes after officers busted a smuggler in El Paso, Texas, transporting cold and flu medications and bottles of diluted Clorox from Mexico on Wednesday. 

Officers confiscated a total of 4,340 tablets of assorted medication and 30 bottles containing diluted Clorox. 

The medication and diluted Clorox were found in different packages concealed behind the back seat of a vehicle. The driver was a 51-year-old U.S. citizen. 

The driver said he planned to sell the products and ship them to Alaska and other places, according to CBP. He was fined $2,600.      

“Consumers may think they are saving a few dollars by ordering these foreign medications online, but if it has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, they could be further putting their health at risk,” said CBP El Paso Director of Field Operations Hector Mancha.  

Medications that are sold on the internet must be approved by the FDA and shippers have to be registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration. 

Shipments that are not approved can be seized without the customer getting reimbursed. The customer and exporter could be subject to penalties in this case. 

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