An internationally-coordinated raid against counterfeit products has resulted in the closure of 292 domain names that are believed to have sold counterfeit products from Nike, Louis Vuitton, Viagra and others.
Luxury brands and medicine
Europol, the Belgian customs office and the Belgian ministry of Economy have blocked nearly 300 domain names because of the possible sale of counterfeit products. Among them were 107 .eu domain names and 47 .be domains.
These mostly sold counterfeit Nike and Louis Vuitton products, but also fake medicine like Cialis, Viagra and Kamagra. Even an illegal music streaming website was shut down: time4popcorn.eu.
"7 to 10 % of all trade is counterfeit"
"7 to 10 % of all trade is estimated to be counterfeit. It damages our economy and creates job losses. Counterfeit medicine may also create (in)visible health hazards for customers, sometimes leading to casualties", the Federal Public Service of Finance's (containing the customs office) Francis Adyns says.
"This joint effort is part of FPS Economy's assignment, to guarantee economic order for both the consumers and the companies that do do things by the book", Chantal De Pauw (FPS Economy) said. "FPS Economy's Counterfeit cell has already confiscated more than 625,000 counterfeit products in 2013."
"The effect has been clear, as we have seen counterfeit sales on .be and .eu domains drop considerably", she concluded. Nevertheless, counterfeit remains a huge worry: recent MarkMonitor and research firm Nielsen studies have shown that 1 in 6 bargain hunters who scour the internet for terms like 'cheap', 'outlet' or 'discounts' fall prey to counterfeit-selling web shops.