As part of a joint operation conducted with the participation of law enforcement agencies from the EU and the USA, Europol disabled 30 506 pirated sites distributing counterfeit and unlicensed products.Domain names were used to sell various pirated products and services, including counterfeit pharmaceuticals and films, illegal streaming services, music, software, electronics, etc.
“Law enforcement authorities from 18 EU Member States1 and third parties in a joint investigation with Europol and the US National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Centre 2, facilitated by Eurojust and INTERPOL, have seized over 30 506 domain names that distributed counterfeit and pirated items over the internet during operation IOS X”, – said in the Europol press release.
As part of the operation, authorities arrested 3 suspects, seized 26 thousand luxury items (clothing, perfumes), 363 liters of alcoholic beverages and many hardware devices. On several bank accounts and online payment platforms were discovered cash amounts of 150 thousand euros.
“The operation is the result of the comprehensive approach which Europol follows with the aim of making the internet a safer place for consumers, by getting even more countries and private sector partners to participate in this operation and providing referrals”, — report Europol employees.
This operation is part of a much larger project called “Operation In Our Sites”, which was launched back in 2014 with the goal of making the Internet more secure.
“To raise awareness of this growing threat, Europol’s IPC³ launched the Don’t F***(ake) Up campaign. The campaign aims to inform citizens of the risks of buying fake products online and give advice to help identify illicit websites selling counterfeit goods, as well as other means used by counterfeiters, such as fake social media accounts and fake apps”, — also inform the public Europol representatives.
Recall that in May of this year, Europol also turned off two underground trading platforms – the Wall Street Market and Silkkitie (also known as Valhalla), offering a variety of prohibited goods – from drugs to malware.