Nearly 13 tons of wigs and human hair products have been seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection over fears that they were made through forced labor in China.
The CBP issued the detainment order for all shipments arriving from Lop County Meixin Hair Product Co. Ltd. based in Xinjiang, China. Officials believe they have strong evidence the wigs and hair care products are linked to forced labor, potentially from the Uighur concentration camps in the communist country.
Several female survivors of the Uighur subjugation testify that women's heads are shaved when they are imprisoned in the camps, something that National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot says is "highly suspicious" given the recent shipment.
"The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in U.S. supply chains," Brenda Smith, executive assistant commissioner of the CBP Office of Trade, said in a statement.
The importing company of the hair products will now be given a period of time to prove its items are legitimate before any further action is taken.
? The importation of all goods produced through slave labor is illegal in the United States, but customs agents often have a very difficult time determining which products meet that criteria.