Held with the support of the US Department of Justice and US Patent and Trademark Office, Operation Maya was a two-week operation in the Americas. It saw more than 1,000 interventions and more than a million items recovered by police, customs, investigators and Intellectual Property crime experts at key locations such as land, sea and airport border control points in addition to markets, shops and street vendors Some 200 individuals were arrested or are currently under investigation for related criminal offences.
Fake goods including toys, computer software, clothing, beauty products, engine oil and cigarettes worth nearly USD 30 million were seized in this INTERPOL-coordinated operation.
The operation also revealed increasingly elaborate efforts by criminals to avoid detection, with items smuggled into a country via one route, while counterfeit trademark materials including stickers for computers, batteries, mobile phones and even car emblems were sent separately to be used later to ‘brand’ the products.
Operation Maya again showed that there is no product which is not being counterfeited and criminals are using every means available to traffic fake and illicit goods. The operation has again shown the importance of cooperation and coordination among police, customs, prosecutors and the private sector to combat organized crime in all participating countries.
Dates: 1-15 March 2012
Participating countries: (eleven in total) Belize, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and USA.
Media release: Fakes worth millions seized in INTERPOL-led operation across Americas (26 April 2012)