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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the seizure of thousands of fraudulent driver licenses from Memphis’ port bound for numerous states.

The CBP said officers have seized thousands of fake IDs coming from China.

CBP officials said they have seized 3,487 counterfeit licenses in the fiscal year of 2021. The CBP said from October 1, 2021 to January 21, 2022, they have already seized 4,516 fraudulent licenses.

Customs and Border Protection officers recognized the fake IDs as they were en route from southern China to over a dozen US states. Officers noticed that these IDs were coming from the same location known for sending counterfeit COVID vaccine cards.

The CBP said basic Google searches of the IDs pointed to university students, typically to purchase alcohol.

However, they warned there are more nefarious efforts at play with fake IDs.

“What these youngsters don’t realize is that they are contributing to a global criminal enterprise,” said Michael Neipert, Memphis Area Port Director. “They are funding the growth of a false identity industry, which breeds more lawlessness. They want to drink a couple years earlier then they’re allowed to, but they may not know their fellow customers are criminals, scammers and those who want to mask their identity for some reason, which is never good. My officers will continue to seize these, and our law enforcement partners will continue to investigate and hit the direct buyers and mid-level distributors.”