Police Seize €852,000 Worth Of Fake Olive Oil In Sevilla

Sevilla Police Uncover Fake Olive Oil Scam

Fake Olive Oil Seized. Credit: GuardiaCivil.es

An investigation by police in Sevilla has uncovered a gang of fraudsters selling fake olive oil.

The Guardia Civil released a report on Friday, July 30 in which more than 143,000 litres of oil being sold as extra virgin in Sevilla have been seized, with eight of the scammers questioned by the investigators.

Operation ‘Giraoliva2se,’ was launched by police in which eight people were investigated for the alleged crimes of fraud, against the market and consumers, and industrial property. In addition, more than 143,000 litres of oil sold as extra virgin olive oil, but was, in fact, a mixture of seed oil and pomace oil, have been seized.

Last March the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (AESAN), announced a health alert when they discovered a series of irregularities owing to the lack of reliable traceability and health guarantees in some brands of oil.

An investigation began after it was found the oil was distributed with a label that had been removed and a bar code that did not correspond to it. The oil was being marketed all under the guise of extra virgin olive oil, using different social and legitimate addresses, as well as prices which were significantly below the market price.

Investigating officers located two warehouses in which the oil could be bottled and labelled. During the searches, the officers also found two tanks containing seed oil, machinery for mixing and packaging, as well as a computer and a label printer.

When the product was analysed it was found to be a mixture of foreign oils that corresponded to seed oil and pomace oil, and not extra virgin olive oil as claimed. As a result, 143,433 litres of this oil mixture have been impounded in the provinces of Sevilla, Cordoba and Badajoz, with would have fetched approximately €851,992 on the market.

The hub of the illegal operation was based in Sevilla, with the Guardia Civil locating three suspects as the actual perpetrators and another five as distributors of the brands.

The investigation was led by the Nature Protection Unit (UPRONA) of Sevilla’s Guardia Civil along with the support of the Veterinary Inspection Services of the Territorial Delegation of Health and Consumer Affairs of the Andalusian Regional Government of Seville.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.