Europol launched an operation against piracy sites in a total of 18 EU countries, destroying more than 30,500 pirated websites and arresting three suspects, Europol said in a press release on December 2. Although Europol did not disclose the names of the sites, it did say that the operation was specifically targeted at domain names used to distribute counterfeit and pirated items, including pirated movies, illegal TV streaming, music, software, electronics and even counterfeit drugs.
In addition, the police arrested three suspects whose names and the extent of their involvement in the operation of the piracy site have not been disclosed. Europol said it had traced more than 150,000 euros in bank accounts and online payment platforms and seized 26,000 luxury items. EU member states participating in the operation include Albania, Bulgaria, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Romania, the Netherlands and several other countries.
Europol officials conducted real-time information exchange and cross-checking of Europol databases during the course of their operations. While the results and numbers of the operation were impressive, Europol did not disclose banned websites and domain names, so the operation may not have involved several major pirated websites around the world.