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More than 20,000 packages of counterfeit medicine, phones and accessories have been seized from social media platforms, according to Europol.
The seizures were the result of joint investigations by Europol’s Intellectual Property Crime Coordinated Coalition (IPC³), the Italian Guardia di Finanza and law enforcement authorities from nine EU member states.
Europol said 1,000 social media accounts and 10,000 online shops were shut down.
Operation Aphrodite, with co-operation of Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the UK, led the preliminary investigation of more than 250 people selling fake goods and pirated content.
More than 100 suspects have been prosecuted, while numerous investigations are ongoing.
A range of counterfeit goods were on offer on the social media platforms, including clothing, perfume, cosmetics and illegal set-top boxes.
“The internet continues to be a major facilitator of IP crime as it utilises new and emerging platforms, such as social media, that have made it easier to post and share offerings for counterfeit goods and pirated content to an expanding audience,” said Europol.
Europol added that it will examine the scale of the problem, gather evidence, and monitor social media and sales platforms.
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