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COVID-19 - Multi Agency Law Enforcement Hub

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To all in the Import/Export trade and related community

You are Key Workers who continue to ensure the momentum of the UK’s trade route, keeping supplies moving and providing a vital role in supporting the UK through these extraordinary times.

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 the course of 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.

We are a multi-agency law enforcement HUB focussed on criminality utilising containerised shipments nationwide to facilitate their illicit activities. We are your single point of call for any information or suspicions you may have regarding this mode of transport.

Your ongoing support and vigilance is greatly appreciated.

Contact: MAHContainers@homeoffice.gov.uk

Telephone: 01394 303118 - On Call (out of normal office hours) : 07920 587808


Posted on Tuesday 14 April 2020