Europol seizes 292 websites in counterfeit goods crackdown on Cyber Monday

Europol has targeted pirates and dealers in fake products

An international operation led by Europol has seized the domain names of 292 websites that were selling counterfeit or pirated products.

The seizures are part of Europol’s In Our Sites project and involved 25 law enforcement agencies from 19 countries, including the UK, Spain, France and Denmark, with the assistance of the US Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Europol said that the action followed leads received in August from trademark holders about the infringing websites.

The seized domain names now remain in the possession of the governments involved in the operations.

The most popular domains proved to be websites selling counterfeit luxury goods, sportswear, electronics and pharmaceuticals, along with pirated music and films.

People trying to access the seized domains will encounter a notice explaining why the websites are unavailable and the criminality behind copyright infringement.

“The infringement of international 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 In Our Sites project has resulted in the seizure of 1,829 domain names since its inception in November 2012.

Interpol said that counterfeit goods put personal financial information at risk of fraud, and often fund more serious criminal operations.

“The crimes can cause revenue and tax losses, unemployment, environmental, health and safety issues for humans and animals, human exploitation and child labour,” said Europol.

The law enforcement agency emphasised that consumers should report the counterfeit products and the websites selling them, explaining that “counterfeiting crimes result in many victims”.

V3 contacted Europol to find out how it prevents the websites appearing in the first place, rather than taking them down after they emerge, but the agency has yet to respond.

Europol appears to be scaling up its operations to tackle cyber crime. The organisation recently joined forces with the European Banking Federation to share  information on cyber threats.

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1 December 2014 | 3:01 pm – Source:


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