Customs: Fake coins from China seized

April 21, 2011 11:23:20 AM PDT
Chicago Customs and Border Protection intercepted a shipment of counterfeit coins from China last week.

After noticing an irregularity in the X-ray of a heavy package being sent to an Illinois residence, customs officials say they discovered 361 coins that appeared to be U.S. Trade Dollar coins with dates between 1873 and 1878. Analysis of the coins revealed that they were made of brass with a thin silver-plated coating.

According to a news release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the original U.S. Trade Dollar coin was minted from 1873 to 1878. Customs officials say some of these coins can be sold for as much as $2,000.

According to officials, the recipient of the shipment was intending to sell the fake coins online.

"Legitimate traders are being duped into buying these coins believing they are genuine," said David Murphy, CBP Director of Field Operations in Chicago. "We strongly recommend buyers or any consumers to be aware and use caution when making these types of purchases on the Internet."

Customs officers screen international mail looking for any type of contraband, counterfeit or prohibited items being shipped to the United States.

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