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© vkoletic dreamstime.com Components | July 03, 2017

1M counterfeit semiconductors seized

The JCO, code-named 'Operation Wafers', targeted counterfeit semiconductors imported into the EU from China & Hong Kong by Post / Express Courier.
In just two weeks, partners seized more than one million counterfeit devices such as diodes, LEDs, transistors and integrated circuits.

As the semiconductors in question were not produced by the genuine manufacturers, their incorporation into electronic products could have led to the failure of computer systems and caused serious malfunctions of sensitive infrastructures, whether civilian or military. As some of the counterfeit semiconductors seized could have been destined for the transport sector and ended up in cars or airplanes or could have made their way into hospitals as part of surgical instruments, their use could have endangered human lives. Moreover, the smuggling of counterfeit products causes serious financial damages to the European industry.

The seizures were facilitated by the close co-operation between OLAF, Europol and the customs authorities of the 12 Member States (*) involved, who worked together with members of the European Semiconductors Industry Association (ESIA). The latter provided extensive training sessions to the participating customs authorities and reacted promptly to identify the suspected counterfeit semiconductors.

The Director-General of OLAF, Mr. Giovanni Kessler, said: "These seizures illustrate how crucial European cooperation is in the fight against the illegal trade of counterfeit products. By working together, we can ensure that European citizens are not harmed by fake products."

The General Manager of Dutch Customs, Mrs. Aly van Berckel, said: "JCO Wafers showed the added value of an intelligence-led operation. Based on professional information, the right checks could be initiated without overloading the available control staff."
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(*) Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Lithuania, Romania, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, the Netherlands

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July 08 2017 11:27 AM V8.5.6-1