The U.S Customs Border Protection’s counter-synthetic drug operation aims to dismantle and disrupt Transnational Criminal Organizations’ (TCO) efforts to produce fentanyl and other deadly synthetic drugs by going after the materials required to produce these substances. According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), “At the beginning of June 2023, CBP led a national coordinated, comprehensive, multi-agency operation targeting the synthetic drug flow and focusing on supply chains that produce synthetic drugs and their precursors with inbound inspections and outbound operations along the Southwest Border.”
The CBP has discovered a smuggling technique in which master cartons are used to conceal precursor chemicals in smaller packages contained within. The smaller packages are pre-affixed with domestic labels and are introduced into the domestic stream once deconsolidated. These packages go either un-manifested or mis-manifested. CBP has listed ways you can recognize these potential precursors and how you can help:
• Identify and report early signs that may indicate a potential movement of precursor chemicals, binding agents, pill presses, and parts used in synthetic opioid production.
• Help CBP by supplying individual package information that is contained within master cartons.
• Recognize incomplete or inaccurate data transmissions.
• Consider that nefarious actors will utilize the air cargo environment in the co-mingling of these items via Master Carton Smuggling tactics, using third-country routing.
• Consider reporting shipments that appear to be mis-manifested or mislabeled, based on size, shape, or weight discrepancies.
• You may report suspicious activity to CBPCOUNTERSYNTHETICCAMPAIGN@cbp.dhs.gov