A multiagency task force in Detroit, led by Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), used a combination of import and export controls, as well as investigative authorities, from partner agencies to weed out illicit cargoes.
In addition to HSI, other federal agencies involved in the Global Trade Task Force (GTTF) include Customs and Border Protection, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security and the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations.
HSI Detroit Special Agent in Charge Steve Francis said the task force could serve as “a model for how the agency approaches counterfeit and counterproliferation investigations going forward.”
“With the launch of the GTTF, we are combining a wide array of capabilities that enable us to combat this global problem in a more streamlined manner,” Francis said in a statement.
It also looked for “financially motivated fraud schemes” and illegal exports of military products, dual-use technologies and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials.
The task force recently completed a weeklong enforcement blitz at Detroit Metropolitan Airport and Port Huron Blue Water Bridge ports of entry. It particularly targeted shipments entering and exiting the U.S. from foreign countries at the FedEx, DHL, rail and the centralized examination stations in Detroit.
During the enforcement operation, the agencies seized more than $1 million in illicit products, including counterfeit Xanax pills, botox, transceiver network modules, e-cigarettes, Rolex watches and iPhones.