U.S. and European authorities said Monday they seized 132 websites in a transatlantic law enforcement crackdown on online sellers of counterfeit merchandise.
The seizure was the latest in a string of efforts by U.S. officials to shut down online forgers, but the first joint effort with EU officials.
Monday's announcement was the result of a joint probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with authorities from Britain, Belgium, Denmark, France, Romania and the European Police Office (EUROPOL), according to a statement released in Washington.
'All of it fake'
ICE Director John Morton said the sites were selling a wide range of illegally copied products including Nike apparel, Ergobaby carriers and Hermes luxury goods, "all of it fake, all of its substandard quality."
"These websites were stealing from legitimate websites and copyright holders and the people who make these products," Morton told a conference call.
Morton said the operation coincided with "Cyber Monday," a major online shopping day following the Thanksgiving Day holiday in the United States.
"This operation is a great example of the tremendous cooperation between ICE and our international partners," said Morton.