The EU’s Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) has cooperated with national authorities in Colombia and Mexico to seize 400t of counterfeit shampoo that was en route to Venezuela.

Valued at approximately €5m, the shampoo was manufactured illegally in China. OLAF intercepted the shipment to prevent the risk of it being sold to the European market.

OLAF took part in an international operation to prevent the illicit trade. It used specialised software to monitor the shipment, collecting data from vessels and ports in real-time.

“The Colombian officers said that the shampoo included counterfeit Dove, Head & Shoulders and Pantene brands.”

OLAF then alerted national authorities in Colombia and Mexico to request the search and seizure of the vessel.

The Colombian officers said that the shampoo included counterfeit Dove, Head & Shoulders and Pantene brands.

The seizure was carried out at the beginning of February following information received in January regarding the dismantling of an illegal factory in China that was found to be producing counterfeit shampoo.

In 2018, the EU’s anti-fraud office seized 360t of illegal pesticides coming from China to the EU.

The OLAF will be conducting independent investigations into fraud and corruption involving EU funds. It is also developing a strong EU anti-fraud policy.