Agents seize fake coins at O'Hare from China

  • Forged U.S. Trade Dollar coins that were seized at O'Hare last week from China.

    Forged U.S. Trade Dollar coins that were seized at O'Hare last week from China.

  • Forged U.S. Trade Dollar coins that were seized at O'Hare last week from China.

    Forged U.S. Trade Dollar coins that were seized at O'Hare last week from China.

 
 
Updated 4/22/2011 10:27 AM

U.S. Customs agents at O'Hare International Airport continue to seize counterfeit goods sent over from China -- this time more than 350 forged rare antique U.S. coins.

Last week agents spotted something strange when X-raying a heavy package shipped from China and found 361 coins that appeared to be U.S. Trade Dollar coins, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents announced Thursday.

 

The coins that were pressed with dates ranging from 1873 to 1878 could have sold for as much as $2,000 a piece if real, according to U.S. Custom's research.

The intended recipient had planned on selling the coins over the Internet, and contacted Customs and Border Protection agents when he or she did not receive the shipment, authorities said.

A laboratory test later revealed the coins were made of brass with a thin, silver-plated coating, according to the agency.

"Legitimate traders are being duped into buying these coins believing they are genuine," said David Murphy, CBP Director of Field Operations in Chicago.

Since the beginning of the year, agents at O'Hare have seized more than 1,700 false drivers licenses that were shipped from China.

The agency said the high volume of seizures had been unprecedented and the IDs addressed to college students across the country were "high quality" counterfeits.