E.on’s €38m fine for tampering with an EU security seal

EON JPEGSometimes customers get a little blasé about their security seals and perhaps don’t take the integrity of their seals as seriously as they possibly could.

If anyone needed a reminder about the consequences of authorised breech of security seal, then the recent case where E.on was fined €38m for tampering with EU seal should remind them how serious this can be.  It recently went to appeal and was upheld.

 
The history, in short, is that on 29th May 2006 the European Commision raided E.On’s premises in connection with allegations of anti competition practices.  They sealed seized documents in a locked room overnight.  The following day, the seal was found to have been tampered with.  The raid was judged to be compromised, and a prosecution for breeching the security seal ensued.  E.on were fined €38m for the breech, an immense fine by anybody’s standards.

A simulation of a tamper evident security seal used by the European commision, as found by their lawyers

The very nature of our work at Security Labels International designing customised and specialised Label Lock security labels means that we dont often get to see many of our seals in action, but stories like this demonstrate how important the performance of our products is, and the consequences of false positive readings for end users.

You can read a full account of the original case on the Europa.eu website with pictures and the recent appeal on one of the news websites covering the story.