12 suspects have been arrested and Euro 2.6 million of counterfeit goods have been seized in an international action against websites that offer counterfeit goods and are involved in online piracy. 494 516 websites have been taken down and 48 criminal cases opened, Europol announced.
The operation called Our Sites also led to seizure of half a million euro in cash. The joint international operation involved law enforcement authorities from 30 countries and was supported by Europol and Interpol.
Operation In Our Sites is a continuation of a recurrent joint global operation, which was launched in 2014 and has seen increasing participation each year. This is the twelfth instance of the operation, Europol said in a statement.
- 42 055 counterfeit articles (shoes, clothes and multiple accessories)
- 181 445 boxes of counterfeit medical products
- 11 fake artworks being sold in online auction sites
- 37 cars and one motorcycle
”The sale of counterfeit goods and pirated materials is becoming an increasingly serious problem for law enforcement authorities for a number of reasons. The internet allows criminals to remain anonymous due to the borderless nature of international e-commerce. It has never been easier to offer counterfeit goods or pirated content online as consumers have access to a greater variety of illicit products but are unaware of the potential risks”, Europol said.
The following countries took part: Albania, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Columbia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Georgia, Greece, Hong Kong-China, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Ukraine, United States of America.