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4,000 TV set top boxes seized by gardaí during European-wide operation

Investigations were carried out in Dublin, Waterford, Tipperary, Mayo and Laois.

File photo
File photo
Image: Leah Farrell via RollingNews.ie

OVER 6,300 suspected counterfeit or copyrighted items and materials have been seized by An Garda Síochána during a European-wide operation. 

Operation Aphrodite, co-ordinated through Europol, saw over 20 European countries undertake operational activity targeting intellectual property rights infringement. 

In this jurisdiction, participation in the operation involved targeting the online sale and advertising (including through social media) of illicit television products. 

The operation was co-ordinated at a national level by the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (GNBCI) who engaged with the industry to obtain evidence of intellectual property right infringements online. 

This operation was fully supported by specific industry partners, gardaí said. 

An Garda Síochána undertook 14 individual investigations relating to the sale of counterfeit and copyrighted goods during the course of the operation, with GNBCI co-ordinating the investigation where appropriate. 

The investigations were carried out in Dublin, Waterford, Tipperary, Mayo and Laois. 

In total, 6,340 suspected counterfeit or copyrighted items and materials were seized by An Garda Síochána. 

The nature of products seized included suspected counterfeit batteries and accessories, phone parts and accessories, various types of clothing including sportswear and footwear, and illicit set top boxes. 

The investigation resulted in the seizure of 4,000 set up top boxes in three particular searches undertaken in the midlands and Dublin. 

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Two of the searches targeted wholesale level distributers. 

Investigation files are being prepared for submission to the Director of Public Prosecutions for consideration, relating to suspected breaches of the provisions of Section 140 of the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 and Section 92 of the Trademarks Act 1996 (Counterfeiting). 

Over the course of the operation, the input co-ordinated through GNBCI resulted in a total of 4,200 websites selling copyrighted materials across the European Union and beyond being identified. 

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