Operation Opson – which means ‘food’ in ancient Greek – is an annual law enforcement operation that aims to remove counterfeit and substandard food and drinks from the market and dismantle the organized crime groups involved.
Participating agencies from law enforcement, customs and national food regulatory bodies conduct checks at shops, markets, airports and seaports to locate and confiscate counterfeit or substandard food products.
Coordinated jointly by INTERPOL and Europol, the first phase of the operation took place in 2011 with 10 countries, mainly from Europe.
Since then, Operation Opson has gained the commitment of member countries to tackle this issue, as seen in Opson VII (December 2017 to March 2018) which brought together 67 countries from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
Opson VII results
Seizures: more than 3,620 tonnes and 9.7 million litres of food and drink
Estimated value: USD 55 million
Criminal networks dismantled: 49