Operation LUDUS II Seizes More than 5 Million Fake Toys
On 24 March 2022, OLAF and Europol reported on the results of the second edition of operation “LUDUS”. For the first edition → eucrim 1/2021, 13. The operation targets the trafficking of fake toys and other goods. The operation was led by Spanish law enforcement authorities and Romanian police; it involved 17 EU Member States and 4 third countries (Cote d’Ivoire, North Macedonia, the United Kingdom and the United States). LUDUS II was carried out between October 2021 and January 2022. Law enforcement authorities performed checks and inspections of suspicious shipments and storages; they also carried out online investigations on e-commerce platforms.
As a result, operation LUDUS II led to seizures of over 5 million fake and illegal toys worth nearly €18 million. 99 individuals were reported to judicial authorities, and over 1400 individuals reported to administrative/health authorities; 30 websites were shut down.
OLAF supported checks of customs documentation and performed data analysis. Europol coordinated the operational activities, facilitated the communication exchange and provided operational analysis.
Europol and OLAF stressed that the fake toys did not only infringe intellectual property rights, but also posed a threat to children’s’ health and safety, e.g. by containing chemicals or risking strangulation, choking, electric shocks, damage to hearing and fire hazards.
The information on the results of operation LUDUS II comes along with an analysis report by Europol on the first edition of operation LUDUS.