WASHINGTON DC: Europol (A European law enforcement umbrella) in collaboration with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement have detained almost 300 websites selling counterfeit merchandise.
The law enforcement agencies, not to mention politicians, are concerned that citizens are being taken for mugs online and cannot resist spending good money on fake rubbish.
The action this weekend was part of Interpol’s Operation In Our Sites which targets fake floggers.
Europol said that the seizures involved 25 law enforcement agencies from 19 countries and participation from the US National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center.
“The infringement of intellectual property rights is a growing problem in our economies and for millions of producers and consumers,” said Europol director Rob Wainwright.
“Europol is committed to working with its international partners to crack down on the criminal networks responsible for this illegal activity.”
The websites offered a mix of content, ranging from luxury goods and sportswear to CDs and DVDs.
The domains are now in the hands of the national governments involved in the shutdowns, and the gear is presumably facing some sort of immolation. Operation In Our Sites has closed down 1,829 domains so far.
The axemen cometh at a good time of year and could save consumers falling foul of scams as they try to stuff Santa’s stockings.
“Working with our international partners on operations like this shows the true global impact of intellectual property crime,” added US National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center acting director Bruce Foucart.
“Counterfeiters take advantage of the holiday season and sell cheap fakes to unsuspecting consumers everywhere.
“Consumers need to protect themselves, their families and their personal financial information from the criminal networks operating these bogus sites.”