the takedown

International Operation Takes Down 37,000 Counterfeit Sites

In an effort to crackdown on IP theft, counterfeit goods, and online piracy, law enforcement seized more than 37,000 websites.

This was the largest website takedown operation to date, thanks to the combined efforts of Europol officials, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)'s Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center.

Named “In Our Sites (IOS) VI”, the international operation began four years ago to keep consumers safe and prevent the widespread sales of phony goods.

"This effort highlights the global commitment to take aggressive action against online piracy," said IPR Center Director Bruce Foucart.

The most popular counterfeit items sold each year include: headphones, sports attire, toiletries, shoes, toys, luxury goods, phones, and electronics.

In all, 37,479 sites were seized by officers from Belgium, Bulgaria, Colombia, Croatia, Denmark, France, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain and the United Kingdom.

And for the first time, Interpol was able to get agents from Argentina, Chile, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Panama, Peru, South Korea and Thailand to join the operation.

In a statement, Europol said, “Cooperation with private industry remains crucial and is key to monitoring and reporting IP-infringing websites to the concerned countries via Europol, to ultimately make the Internet a safer place for consumers. The participating rights holders represented different sectors including traditional luxury goods, sportswear, spare parts, electronics, pharmaceuticals and toiletries.”

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