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US and Canadian authorities have seized counterfeit Cisco hardware and product labels worth an estimated $76m following more than 400 raids.

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement last Thursday that Feds, customs officials and Royal Canadian Mounted Police have all been involved in the ongoing investigation, which began in 2005.

The DoJ – which hailed the operation as a big success – said it decided to crackdown on dodgy Cisco gear, much of which reaches US and Canadian shores from China, to protect the public from network infrastructure failures.

“This initiative shows that through collaboration among law enforcement agencies and prosecutors worldwide, we can achieve dramatic enforcement results and protect public safety,” said assistant Attorney General Alice S Fisher.

The FBI part of the multi-agency probe, which it dubbed Operation Cisco Raider, has so far led to 10 convictions and $1.7m in restitution.

Over the past two years Feds have been involved in the investigation of 15 cases with the operation producing 36 search warrants and around 3,500 pirated network components with a total retail value of about $3.5m.

Meanwhile, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Custom Border Protection officials have so far seized more than 74,000 knock-off Cisco goods valued at over $73m.

In January two US brothers were charged with various crimes after they allegedly sold counterfeit Cisco equipment to several government agencies including the FBI, the Federal Aviation Authority and the Marine Corps.

The DoJ news release is here. ®

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