A Europe-wide operation coordinated through Europol has seen An Garda Síochána undertake an investigation in County Mayo relating to the sale of counterfeit and copyrighted goods.
Operation Aphrodite has seen operations in more than 20 European countries that target intellectual property (IP) rights infringement.
Mayo is one of only five counties in Ireland to have come under the spotlight, with investigations also undertaken in Dublin, Waterford, Tipperary and Laois.
Coordinated at a national level by Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (GNBCI) who engaged with industry to obtain evidence of intellectual property right infringements online, Ireland’s participation in the operation involved targeting the online sale and advertising (including through social media) of illicit television products.
An Garda Síochána undertook fourteen individual investigations relating to sale of counterfeit and copyrighted goods during the course of the operation and in total, 6,340 suspected counterfeit or copyrighted items/materials were seized, including suspected counterfeit computer batteries and accessories, phone parts and accessories, various types of clothing including sportswear and footwear, and illicit set-top boxes.
Three searches alone in the Midlands and Dublin recovered 4,000 illicit set-top boxes, with two of the searches targeting wholesale level distributers.
Investigation files relating to suspected copyright breaches are being prepared for submission to the Director of Public Prosecutions for consideration.