THE CITY OF LONDON police force has announced a major swoop on websites that sold counterfeit goods, claiming that almost 700 domains are things of the past.
The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) claimed 90 website scalps, and said that it worked with both US and European police authorities in conducting its raids. It said that it shut 690 domains as part of an operation called "In Our Sites - Transatlantic 3".
"PIPCU is proud to be a part of this cross-party worldwide operation, which is committed to combating online intellectual property crime," said PIPCU superintendent Bob Wishart.
"The 90 websites we have suspended sends a clear warning out to anyone else who thinks they can sell counterfeit goods on the internet with little fear of ever being stopped."
The operation was overseen by Interpol, US Homeland Security and the US based National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Centre (IPR Centre).
According to those involved the websites were selling the kinds of goods that are sold on streetcorners every day, which included things like headphones, shoes, mobile phones and electronic accessories.
Anyone unwittingly trying buy a counterfeit item from a shoddy website will be presented with one of those seizure notifications that US authorities like to slam down on webpages.
Most of the domain seizures were in the US, where 297 domain names were claimed. Other countries including Belgium, Denmark, France, Hungary, Romania and Spain shut 303 domains, and the UK claimed the remaining 90 domains.
"Working with our international partners on operations like this shows the true global impact of IP Crime," said US Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting director John Sandweg.
"Counterfeiters take advantage of the holiday spirit of shoppers around the world 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." µ