By Chris King • 18 March 2023 • 1:43
Image from 'Operation Kalabrea'.
Credit: Guardia Civil
As reported by the Guardia Civil in a statement on Friday, March 17, officers arrested and placed under investigation 21 people responsible for various thefts of more than 17,500 kilograms of olives. Within the framework of ‘Operation Kalabrea’, the police conducted raids in relation to produce that had been reported stolen in the Las Vegas region of Madrid.
In total, 6 thefts were clarified in farms located in the region of La Vega, specifically in the municipalities of Valdaracete, Fuentidueña del Tajo, Chinchon, Villaconejos, Villarejo de Salvanes, Colmenar de Oreja, and Brea del Tajo.
The investigation began last January when a complaint was received at the Estremera Guardia Civil Headquarters from a farmer in Brea del Tajo. He stated that he had suffered the theft of 8,400 kilograms of olives from various farms on his property.
Analysis of this complaint made it possible for the investigators to relate this fact to others of similar characteristics in which the owners of different farms located in the Las Vegas region were also suffering robberies and thefts of large quantities of olives.
As a consequence of the different citizen security operations aimed at reinforcing security in this type of farm, a vehicle was detected in broad daylight on February 2. Inside it were 5 citizens who were found to be transporting 140 kilograms of olives, of which they could not justify the lawful origin.
Likewise, the progress of the investigation allowed the police to visit two mills located in the provinces of Toledo and Guadalajara where they apparently received their fruit from dubious origins.
For all these reasons, Guardia Civil officers, aided by SEPRONA officers and personnel from the Labour Inspectorate of the Ministry of Agriculture of Guadalajara and Toledo, proceeded to enter and search the aforementioned oil mills, where they arrested those responsible.
The investigation concluded with the seizure of numerous documents related to the sale of more than 17 and a half tons of olives. They related them directly to different parties investigated in the procedure, the seal of several deposits that contained more than 6000 litres of oil, as well as different administrative sanctions related to health, safety, and waste management.
Five people have been placed under investigation and another 16 arrested. The detainees are between 20 and 57 years of age and are charged with crimes of theft, fraud, and the reception of stolen goods.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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