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Europol seizes five million unsafe fake toys

PARIS (AFP) – Europol seized more than five million potentially hazardous counterfeit toys worth more than EUR18 million (USD20 million) between October 2021 and January 2022, the European Union (EU) police agency said on Thursday.

The haul included “counterfeit and illegal puzzle games, video games and related characters, board and card games, dolls and puppets from famous TV series, bricks for children and clothing and accessories from famous brands”, Europol said.

“The majority of fake toys were imported from East Asia to the EU, United Kingdom and the United States (US),” it said. Operation Ludus II, the second major investigation of its type, was coordinated by Europol and led by police and customs officials in Spain and Romania.

The probe involved law enforcement authorities from 21 countries – 19 European states, the US and Ivory Coast. It resulted in “the seizure of hazardous toys with a total value of more than EUR18 million”.

The first Operation Ludus was launched in 2020 after the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) warned about toys that did not conform to EU safety norms and were therefore dangerous to children.