Hundreds of tonnes of fake and substandard food and drink were seized in an operation coordinated by INTERPOL and Europol across 10 countries. Operation Opson effectively disrupted the organized criminal gangs behind this high profit-low risk activity which undermines legitimate business and puts the safety of consumers at risk.
Operation Opson recovered more than 13,000 bottles of substandard olive oil, 30 tonnes of fake tomato sauce, around 77,000 kg of counterfeit cheese, more than 12,000 bottles of substandard wine worth EUR 300,000, five tonnes of substandard fish and seafood, and nearly 30,000 counterfeit candy bars.
The week-long operation − the first to focus exclusively on these everyday products − involved police, customs and national food regulatory bodies in addition to partners from the private sector and saw checks carried out in airports, seaports, shops and flea markets.
Dates: November - December 2011
Participating countries: (10 in total) Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
Media release: Tonnes of illicit foods seized across Europe in INTERPOL-Europol led operation (6 December 2011)