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.

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The operation finished with a debriefing meeting at OLAF in which...

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...the results were weighed up and several counterfeit items examined.

The final result was that over this 10-day period 326 of the 8000 containers leaving a Chinese port every week were examined, and 60 out of the 221 declared 'at high risk’ of containing fakes’ did indeed contain counterfeit goods, coming to 26 million items in total, that is to say 500 tons of goods (as indicated in the table below).

Category Items
Medicines Viagra, Stanazolol, Satibo, Koryo Insam (herbal)
Textiles Caps, hats, jackets, shawls, sweats, socks, scarf’s, t-shirts, jeans, blouses, ties, trousers, towels, neck straps, wristband, jumpers, polo’s, blazers, eye-shades
Footwear Sport shoes, sandals, shoes
Bags Handbags, wallets, evening bags, rug bags, housing mobile phones, bags for camera, suitcases for computer
Electronic mobile phone, calculators, MP3 players, computer boards, CD walkmans, digital camera (DVC), DVD, data cables, game boys, games consoles, decks of cards, light bulbs, batteries, hair dryers, electric engines, radio controlled cars
Tobacco Cigarettes
Miscellaneous Sunglasses, belts, ink cartridges, metal buckles, watches, toys, golfclubs, razorblades, honey, nail cutters, toothbrushes, gadgets, locks

Operation FAKE has enabled different transport routes of counterfeit goods to be identified, as well as the use of fake or defunct companies. It has led to the discovery of false goods declarations and potential money-laundering.

Administrative investigations will continue in the Member States.