The Investigators: Feds say fake COVID-19 tests from China seized at Memphis FedEx facility

The Investigators: Feds say fake COVID-19 tests from China seized at Memphis FedEx facility

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A federal affidavit obtained by WMC Action News 5 states 100 fake COVID-19 tests were recently seized at the FedEx hub in Memphis.

The document claims the tests were purchased by an unnamed person in Oregon who didn’t have a medical license and were manufactured by a company based in China.

The affidavit also mentions a video on a Twitter account that says the product is “effective” but, according to the federal document, “there is no record that this medical device is approved or cleared by the FDA."

“Those commodities need to be inspected, released and cleared through us,” said Mike Neipert, Memphis’s Port Director for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which is based inside FedEx’s international sorting facility.

Neipert is preparing for an influx of illegal items related to COVID-19 because criminals are looking to take advantage of this crisis.

“Our officers are among the best out there in finding it,” said Neipert. “They’re going to be on top of it. This crisis or the next.”

Neipert says it’s not an easy job but is made more difficult because officers are wearing face masks and social distancing while on the job.

“The challenge is keeping our officers and workforce safe because we still have a mission to do,” he said.

The Investigators reached out to the manufacturer of the tests and did not hear back.

FedEx issued a statement saying, “We do not tolerate the use of our network for illegal purposes, and we are working with law enforcement as they investigate this incident.”

Meanwhile, the FDA has also issued a warning to the public to beware of trying to purchase a COVID-19 test on your own. None are currently approved by the agency.

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