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December 1, 2014

Europol seizes 292 counterfeiting domains

No arrests made yet, but some may be in the pipeline.

By Jimmy Nicholls

292 domains associated with the sale of fake goods have been seized by Europol, in action across 19 European countries and the United States.

Though no arrests were said to have taken place, a source close to the investigation told the BBC that possible arrests could be made soon.

Rob Wainwright, director of Europol, said: "The infringements of intellectual property rights is a growing problem in our economies and for millions of producers and consumers.

"Europol is committed to working with its international partners to crack down on the criminal networks responsible for this illegal activity."

Trademark holders were said to have prompted the raid, which involved knock-off sportswear, electronics and pharmaceuticals, as well as pirated movies and music.

It is only the latest action taken in Project IOS, an effort began in November 2012 to undermine the sale of fake goods which has seen police take 1,829 domains in five actions against criminals.

"Working with our international partners on operations like this shows the true global impact of IP crime," said National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center acting director Bruce Foucart.

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"Counterfeiters take advantage of the holiday season and sell cheap fakes to unsuspecting consumers everywhere. Consumers need to protect themselves, their families, and their personal financial information from the criminal networks operating these bogus sites."

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