European Anti-Fraud Office

Operation FAKE

Operation FAKE

Operation FAKE, the surveillance of maritime and air traffic from 17 to 27 May 2005, was the result of close cooperation between the Customs authorities of the 25 Member States, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and the Taxation and Customs Union Directorate-General (DG TAXUD). The goal of the operation was to analyse the routes used by counterfeiters to gain access to Europe.

All the European Union countries, as well as OLAF and DG TAXUD, were involved in the operation.

DG TAXUD, responsible for legislation and for regulating routine customs checks within the European Union, gathered together the reports regarding goods seized at airports and, where a Member State was unable to identify the rights holder of the brand being faked, took charge of contacting him or her.

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OLAF was involved in gathering and analysing information in order to set up a system that could maximise surveillance, particularly of maritime containers. This system consisted firstly of defining a list of research criteria and secondly of offering the Member States a means of sharing information in real time.

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The 25 Member States provided liaison officers, gathered the information to be examined at the OLAF operational centre, and ensured that the fake goods were checked and seized at ground-level.