The EC has revealed the seizure of thousands of counterfeit shoes and leather jackets in a coordinated February customs’ swoop on illicit cargoes in EU international ports.

Brussels said EU anti-fraud office OLAF coordinated the raids which involved 300 customs officials and police from national customs units of the EU’s 27 member states, EU police agency Europol, Interpol and the World Customs Organisation.

Their officers targeted suspect containers from Asian ports. Code named ‘Diabolo’, the operation, said EU anti-fraud Commissioner Siim Kallas not only protected revenues, but also ‘the interests of legitimate business’. Netherlands ports yielded the most leather goods: 52,578 pairs of footwear in seven containers, including sports and other shoes; and 1,141 leather motor jackets, coats and other clothing items.

There were 2,440 pairs of sports shoes seized in one container in Malta and two other containers with other (unnumbered) sports shoe counterfeits; and a container of 3,390 pairs of shoe fakes in Romania.