By Oisin Sweeney • 18 December 2020 • 20:19
FOURTEEN people have been arrested in a police crackdown on a Spain-based gang who made millions producing and distributing pistachio nuts that didn’t meet ecological standards.
The pistachios were labeled as “organic” and were sold for up to 80% over normal retail price despite ecological standards not being met in their production. Pesticides that are illegal in Spain – such as glyphosate and chlorate – were detected by police in nut samples when the investigation began last year. The gang used illegal pesticides to yield better harvests at a faster speed, which police say was damaging to the competition of Spain’s nut farming sector.
The gang falsified organic certificates when distributing the pistachios across Spain and into France, and police estimate that the group’s profits could stretch to 6 million euro. Europol and French police assisted the Spanish investigation and the arrested individuals will face charges of fraud against public health, money laundering, and falsification of documents.
Pistachios have been a popular snack since 6000 BC, and boast a wide range of health benefits.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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