Emerging criminal trends impacting the frontline forwarding community

BIFA members may be interested in this as this contains information relative to medicines and PPE.

To all in the Import/Export trade and related community,

Border Force and partner agencies have identified emerging trends involving criminal groups who are exploiting the current situation, taking advantage of the COVID19 crisis to ship illicit goods. In response to this threat we are writing to those who are the frontline of the industry to advise them of the threat and ask for continued assistance to protect society.

The goods include counterfeit medicines and PPE, specifically targeting the vulnerable and those at most risk during the COVID19 crisis. These goods are not fit for purpose offering little or no protection, they will cost lives if successfully imported into the UK.

It is imperative that essential goods can be imported expeditiously, keeping shops stocked, supporting the infrastructure of the country and allowing vital medical supplies and PPE to those in need. This has become the focus for criminal organisations who are also targeting commodities that fall in to these categories as cover loads to hide their illicit importations such as drugs and excise goods etc.

We are asking for your continued support and vigilance to ensure that essential items we, the UK need reaches the end user as efficiently as practical. If, during your business you have any concerns over the legitimacy of a shipment or those behind it please let us know as soon as possible. This will allow us time to carry out a variety of checks which may prevent any further action being taken thus allowing legitimate shipments free movement. However, your referral may result in the prevention of an illicit shipment making it through controls, saving lives.

Please note that you are solely requested to report any concerns that you may have about suspect shipments. Border Force does not wish you to investigate or make further enquiries on its behalf.

You can either report your suspicions via the www.gov.uk website or the Crimestoppers telephone number or website.

If you wish to use the www.gov.uk avenue, please type “report a border crime” in the search box and follow the link to the online form.

If you wish to use Crimestoppers, either call 0800 555 111 or use the website www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Your ongoing support and vigilance are greatly appreciated.