By Chris King • 22 August 2023 • 0:54
Image of Guardia Civil vehicles in Spain.
Credit: bela art/Shutterstock.com
AFTER a series of inspections carried out in the provinces of Alicante, Madrid and Malaga, the Guardia Civil seized more than 34,000 kilos of food unfit for human consumption.
Some of the confiscated products presented manipulation on the best-before dates, others displayed exceeded expiration dates, and others were simply in poor condition. The goods were reportedly destined for distribution in Spain and Portugal.
‘Operation Mahala’ was launched on May 23, after investigative work by the Alicante Nature Protection Patrol (Pacprona) obtained information about the commission of possible irregularities by two commercial companies.
As reported in a statement issued by the force on Monday, August 21, the Guardia Civil reported that a person in charge of one company had been charged and another person denounced for a crime of food fraud.
As they explained, the operation was carried out against counterfeiting, plus the sale, labelling, trade, and illegal or adulterated distribution of food products, as well as economic fraud.
In the first phase of the operation, police officers located two industrial buildings in the Alicante town of Torrevieja that belonged to the investigated companies. They had reason to believe that expired food products were allegedly sold and distributed between Spain and Portugal from this facility.
Subsequently, the existence of two other establishments located in the Madrid town of Coslada, and the city of Marbella in Málaga was established. These facilities belonged to one of the companies and the same irregularities were found to have been committed.
In June, once all the establishments were located and the existence of activity verified, the exploitation of the operation was carried out.
With the support of Seprona patrols based in the Alicante municipality of Guardamar and Daganzo in Madrid, the police carried out simultaneous inspections of the establishments in Torrevieja and Coslada. At the same time, Seprona officers conducted a similar inspection of the Marbella facility.
During these searches, food items with manipulated best-before dates, expired items, and others in a poor state of preservation were located and intervened, all ready for sale and distribution.
The manager of one company was charged on July 5
Finally, on July 5, along with all the evidence proving the responsibility of the manager of one of the companies, he was charged with a crime related to the market and consumers for food fraud.
Complaints were filed against the other investigated company for administrative infractions. These were sent to the Department of Agriculture of the Generalitat.
The proceedings were made available to the Investigating Court No4 of Torrevieja. All the confiscated food was destroyed by an authorised waste manager.
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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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