According to a Europol press release of 26 November 2018, the operation led to the arrest of 12 suspects and the seizure of almost a million Euros. The 33,654 websites shut down by the authorities were selling counterfeit medicines, pirated material (films, music, television series), and fake electronic goods.
Operation ‘In Our Sites’ (IOS)
This recurring joint operation was set up in 2014 and has been building momentum ever since. The investigations are jointly carried out by the Europol Intellectual Property Crime Coordinated Coalition (IPC3), the US National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Centre, the law enforcement agencies of the EU’s 27 Member States, as well as some third parties, with full backing from INTERPOL. The eighth round of IOS took out 20,520 domain names.
The 2018 edition of the operation
The ninth round of Operation IOS was far by far the most successful. Newcomers including various anti-counterfeiting associations, brand representatives and law enforcement representatives joined in. Ten thousand more websites were taken down than in the previous round of the operation.
Europol is launching an awareness-raising campaign
Europol is working particularly closely with EUIPO, the European Intellectual Property Office. Priority is given to the investigation of online criminality, but also to holding conferences, including an annual conference on intellectual property crime.
Europol’s IPC3 has equally launched the ‘Don’t F***(ake) Up’ campaign. This aims to draw the public’s attention to the health and safety risks of purchasing counterfeits online. It also highlights how this unfair practice is harmful to the European economy and its high-quality industries.
Source: Europol press release « Operation takes down over 33 600 internet domains selling counterfeits goods ».