More than 4,000 illicit TV set-top boxes were seized by gardaí in Dublin and the midlands as part of a Europe-wide operation to crack down on the sale of counterfeit television products.
They were among some 6,340 suspected counterfeit or copyrighted items seized in the operation, which was conducted in association with police forces in more than 20 countries.
The investigation is part of Operation Aphrodite, a Europe-wide operation coordinated through Europol.
Ireland, through An Garda Síochána, and the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (GNBCI), and Italy, through the Italian Finance Corps are leading the operation.
Operation Aphrodite specifically targets intellectual property rights infringement.
The GNBCI say they engaged with industry to obtain evidence of intellectual property right infringements online.
The GNBCI operated as the national contact point for relevant investigation. Over the course of the operation here, evidence packs were developed and then forwarded to local Gardaí for investigation.
Gardaí say they, in co-ordination with GNBCI, undertook 14 individual investigations relating to the sale of counterfeit and copyrighted goods during the course of the operation.
The investigations were carried out in Dublin, Waterford, Tipperary, Mayo, and Laois.
- Suspected counterfeit computer batteries and accessories;
- Phone parts and accessories;
- Various types of clothing including sportswear and footwear,
- And illicit set-top boxes.
The GNBCI say investigation files are currently being prepared for submission to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for consideration.
They say they are monitoring 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).
Two of the searches involved wholesale level distributers.
So far, Operation Aphrodite has identified a total of 4,200 websites selling copyrighted materials across the European Union and beyond.