According to the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement website, a Chinese company illegally selling weapons and suppressor components in the United States has been seized following a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigation that took place with the assistance of the US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP).
ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations Seize Website Illegally Selling Weapon and Suppressor Components from China
The website in question, www.lafoauto.com has had its domain seized in accordance with an international arms-trafficking investigation. HSI found that some 350 suppressors that have been seized across the United States were purchased through lafoauto.com being sold as automotive parts and being imported as such.
Many of you have probably seen such advertisements on social media platforms offering to sell certain items that appear to be automotive parts. Lafoauto was one such website and it seems that ICE and HSI have managed to not only track down the purchasers of said items but the originating sellers as well despite claims that the items sold were simply automotive parts.
CBP Director of Field Operations Christopher Perry said “This is another prime example of our commitment to keeping our communities safe,” he continued underscoring the coordination of the operation, “these collaborative efforts with our HSI and ATF partners are key to shutting down international arms trafficking operations such as http://lafoauto.com/.”
Interestingly enough HSI is not out to simply catch people in the act of purchasing these items. By using a court order the HSI redirects the suspect website (in this case lafoauto) to one under the direct control of HSI. From there those who view the website will see a banner with a PSA warning potential customers against purchasing the illegal goods.
While this is not the HSI’s first seizure of a website selling illicit goods, it is the first instance in which they have seized a website whose sole purpose is dedicated to selling illegal arms and suppressor components.