Including the distribution of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and pirated movies, illegal television streaming, software, music, electronics and other fake products, the investigation made 3 arrests possible, as well as the seizure of 26,000 luxury products – including 363 litres of alcoholic beverages and many hardware devices. More than €150,000 in several banks and online payment platforms was identified and frozen.
Europol Intellectual Property Crime Coordinated Coalition (IPC³) supported the investigation on the ground with a mobile office of experts. Real-time information exchange and cross-checks of the data gathered during the course of the action against Europol's databases was carried out by Europol officers. Directly from europol.europa.eu, the IPC³ is described thus:
The IPC3 provides operational and technical support to law-enforcement agencies and other partners in the EU and beyond, by:
- facilitating and coordinating cross-border investigations;
- monitoring and reporting online crime trends and emerging modi operandi;
- raising public awareness of this crime;
- providing training to law enforcement in how to combat it.
IPC³ experts organized several online investigation technique training courses in intellectual property infringements in 2019. These courses were given to law enforcement authorities all over Europe.
In Our Sites
IOS, In Our Sites, was launched in 2014, and has been growing every year. The operation is the result of a comprehensive approach which Europol follows with the aim of creating a safer Internet for consumers. They collect countries and private sector partners to participate in the operation.
Europol, which is supported by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), enhanced efforts in 2019 by successfully supporting high-priority investigations related to online crimes, providing training for online investigations and organizing the conference on Adaptive Enforcement Initiatives against new IP crime trends in Malaga, Spain. The conference took place on 18 & 19 June 2019.
The Don't F***(ake) Up Campaign
Europol's aptly named campaign aims to inform citizens of the risks of buying fake products online and offers advice to help identify illicit websites selling counterfeit goods, fake social media accounts and fake apps.