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America12 online fraudsters arrested in global operation against counterfeiters

12 online fraudsters arrested in global operation against counterfeiters

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Operation In Our Sites also led to the seizure of €2.6 million worth of counterfeit goods and half a million euro in cash

From 1 May 2021 until 14 November 2021, Operation In Our Sites took place leading to the arrest of 12 suspects, the seizure of €2.6 million worth of counterfeit goods and cash to the value of €460 468. The joint international operation involved law enforcement authorities from 30 countries and was supported by Europol’s Intellectual Property Crime Coordinated Coalition (IPC3), Eurojust and INTERPOL. IPC3 is co-funded by EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office) to combat intellectual property crime. The operation specifically targeted websites that offer counterfeit goods and are involved in online piracy.

Operational results:      

  • 12 suspects arrested
  • €2.6 million worth of counterfeit goods seized
  • Value of total cash seizures: € 460 468
  • 494 516 websites taken down
  • 48 criminal cases opened

Operation In Our Sites is a continuation of a recurrent joint global operation, which was launched in 2014 and has seen increasing participation each year. This is the twelfth instance of the operation.


  • 42 055 counterfeit articles (shoes, clothes and multiple accessories)
  • 181 445 boxes of counterfeit medical products
  • 11 fake artworks being sold in online auction sites
  • 37 cars and one motorcycle

The sale of counterfeit goods and pirated materials is becoming an increasingly serious problem for law enforcement authorities for a number of reasons. The internet allows criminals to remain anonymous due to the borderless nature of international e-commerce. It has never been easier to offer counterfeit goods or pirated content online as consumers have access to a greater variety of illicit products but are unaware of the potential risks.

The following countries took part: Albania, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Columbia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Georgia, Greece, Hong Kong-China, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Ukraine, United States of America.

Carding action 2021

Carding Action 2021, an operation led by law enforcement agencies from Italy and supported by the United Kingdom and Europol, targeted fraudsters selling and purchasing compromised card details on websites selling stolen credit card data, known as card shops, and dark web marketplaces as a follow up from the takedown of the DeepSea marketplace.

As part of this three-month operation, 12 vendors selling compromised credit card details were identified and 49 761 pieces of stolen card data were analysed.  The total losses prevented are estimated at €14 million. Group-IB and payment companies worked in close cooperation with the law enforcement authorities in the countries involved in the framework of the Carding Action.

Photo: Europol

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