Operation OPSON XI: Almost 15 Million Litres of Illicit Beverages Pulled Off the Shelves
On 17 November 2022, OLAF and Europol informed of the results from the meanwhile eleventh operation OPSON, which was carried out between December 2021 and May 2022. Operation OPSON targets counterfeit and substandard food and beverages, and food fraud in general (for operations in previous years →eucrim 3/2021, 143; eucrim 2/2020, 80 and eucrim 2/2019, 90).
During the operation almost 15 million litres of beverages (including alcohol and wine) and almost 27,000 tonnes of fake food were seized. In total, around 74,000 checks were carried out, 80 arrest warrants issued, and over 175 criminal cases and 2,078 administrative cases opened. Law enforcement authorities in 25 European countries and in the United States were successful in disrupting eight criminal networks.
In its press release, Europol presented some examples of food fraud in countries involved in the operation. Operation OPSON XI was coordinated by OLAF, Europol, the European Commission Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE), European Commission Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI), the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), and Interpol.