MIAMI – Millions of dirty medical gloves were shipped into South Florida from overseas under the guise of being brand new.
Local 10 News’ Glenna Milberg received a crash course in counterfeit medical gloves on Monday, courtesy of Miami businessman Tarek Kirschen.
He was duped into importing gloves that are not only counterfeits, but tainted, dirty, used gloves that were intended for desperate medical customers at the height of pandemic need.
“When they realized, and they inspected, they opened them, they called us really upset,” Kirschen said.
The source is a warehouse near Bangkok where Kirschen came to learn unscrupulous people were exploiting the worldwide need.
Inspectors in Thailand found evidence that old, used gloves were washed, dyed different colors and packed into boxes with fake company names like Skymed.
Kirschen said the criminal enterprise was a result of the demand being so high for medical supplies due to the coronavirus pandemic.
When asked if, in the public interest, it’s possible any local hospitals, pharmacies or other places in South Florida may have those counterfeit gloves in stock, he replied, “Oh absolutely. They’ve got them.”
U.S. Customs import records show the Thai companies dramatic increase in the shipments of medical gloves to the United States.
Kirschen has since dumped most of the tainted supply at the Miami-Dade landfill, some $2 million worth of inventory. He has also refunded his customers.