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European, US authorities take control of websites



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AMSTERDAM (AP) - Europol says American and European authorities have taken control of 690 websites that were selling counterfeit merchandise.

The European police coordination agency said the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had teamed up with European law enforcement agencies and Hong Kong customs authorities to seize the sites' domain names.

ICE director John Sandweg said in a statement that "counterfeiters take advantage of the holiday spirit of shoppers around the world and sell cheap fakes to unsuspecting consumers everywhere."

Common articles sold on the sites included headphones, sports jerseys, grooming products, shoes and electronics.

Visitors to the 297 domains seized in the U.S. and 393 others in Britain, France, Spain, Romania, Hungary, Denmark, Belgium and Hong Kong will be redirected to a warning notice.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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