By Laura Kemp • 31 July 2021 • 16:24
Guardia Civil makes arrests for food fraud
More than 600 tons of seeds and plants have been seized, as well as 116,000 litres of spirits in a food fraud investigation.
This year the operation has focused on wine and alcoholic beverages, honey, horse meat for human consumption, beekeeping products, as well as seeds and plants.
In Europe, up to a total of 53.8 million euros had been defrauded
The Guardia Civil led the tenth edition of Operation OPSON X, coordinated with Europol and Interpol, dedicated to the investigation of food fraud. In the exploitation phase, controls have been intensified against counterfeiting, sale, labelling, trade, illegal distribution of food products and economic fraud.
About 2,300 controls and inspections have been carried out in distribution centres, warehouses, commercial areas, means of transport, containers and tax warehouses, ports and airports. More than 1,612 administrative offences and 16 criminal offences have been detected, with 68 people arrested and 52 investigated.
Crimes against public health, document falsification and fraud, among others, have been also investigated.
During the operational phase at the European level, which runs from December 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021, the Guardia Civil has intensified vigilance on the threat posed by agri-food fraud and the distribution of counterfeit or low-quality products, directly influencing the consumer market.
In criminal offences, various modus operandi has been detected, from the falsification of documents to the importation of alcohol, as well as falsification of stamped seals on the containers themselves.
In the case of horse meat, the documentation of the animals was also falsified, which enabled them for human consumption.
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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