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27 million face masks seized in Europol operation

Credit: Belga

Nearly 28 million counterfeit and illegal products were seized, including 27 million masks, in an operation carried out in collaboration with 21 European countries including Belgium, Europol reported on Friday.

The eight-month operation, known as Aphrodite, was conducted jointly by the Italian Guardia di Finanza and the Irish national police (An Garda Síochána) with the support of Europol.

From December 2019 to July 2020, the services monitored online sales of a wide variety of counterfeit goods, leading to checks in warehouses, shops and markets in Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Spain.

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The operation led to the dismantling of 123 social network accounts and 36 websites selling counterfeit goods.

Besides the 27 million face masks, authorities seized 800,000 items of clothing, sportswear, shoes, accessories and toys.

Ten people were arrested in Greece and more than €700,000 were also seized.

The Brussels Times

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