Transatlantic sting catches counterfeiters

Transatlantic sting catches counterfeiters

EU and US officials vow to halt imports of fake computer components

The European Union has teamed up with senior US customs officials to halt the influx of fake computer components.

Customs officials on both sides of the Atlantic said that fakes smuggled into the US and Europe primarily from China are adversely affecting "critical infrastructure".

The move follows the seizure of more than 360,000 fake components in a two-week transatlantic sting at the end of last year.

"Traffickers and counterfeiters have become much more sophisticated," said Daniel Baldwin, assistant commissioner for US Customs and Border Protection.

"They are no longer confining themselves to trafficking in some of the traditional goods we used to see, such as footwear or handbags. There will be criminal investigations," said Baldwin.

Counterfeit goods worth more than $1.3bn affecting more than 40 trademarks, including Intel, Cisco and Philips, were seized during the operation, according to officials.