Over 6,000 items seized by Gardai in five counties in operation targeting illicit television products
4,000 illicit set top boxes, sometimes known as 'dodgy boxes', were seized in three searches in the midlands and Dublin alone.
An Garda Síochána seized 6,340 suspected counterfeit or copyrighted items as a result of 14 individual investigations relating to the sale of counterfeit and copyrighted goods.
The investigations, conducted in Dublin, Waterford, Tipperary, Mayo and Laois, were part of An Garda Síochána’s participation in Operation Aphrodite III, a Europe-wide operation taking place in 20 countries.
In Ireland, participation in the operation involved targeting the online sale and advertising (including through social media) of illicit television products.
The nature of products seized included suspected counterfeit computer batteries and accessories, phone parts and accessories, various types of clothing, including sportswear and footwear, and illicit set top boxes.
An Garda Síochána revealed that 4,000 illicit set top boxes were seized in three searches undertaken in the midlands and Dublin, two of which targeted wholesale-level distributors.
In the course of the operation, the input coordinated through the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (GNBCI) resulted in a total of 4,200 websites selling copyrighted materials across the European Union and beyond being identified.
The operation was coordinated at a national level by the GNBCI, who engaged with industry to obtain evidence of intellectual property right infringements online.
The GNBCI operated as the national contact point for the relevant investigation. Evidence packs were developed and then forwarded to local Gardaí for investigation.
This operation was fully supported by specific industry partners.
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).