The Civil Guard stops and investigates 120 people for food fraud

The Civil Guard has detained or investigated 120 people in 16 actions framed in the international operation Opson X coordinated by Europol, this year centered o

The Civil Guard stops and investigates 120 people for food fraud

The Civil Guard has detained or investigated 120 people in 16 actions framed in the international operation Opson X coordinated by Europol, this year centered on alcoholic beverages and wine, such as the one carried out in León, Honey, horse meat, seeds and plants .

In fact, the General Directorate of the Armed Institute has reported on Saturday, more than 600 tons plants have been seized, as well as 116,000 liters of spirits.

The agents have indicated on this occasion the controls against counterfeiting, sale, labeling, trade, illegal distribution or the adulterate of food products and economic fraud.

There have been about 2,300 controls and inspections in distribution centers, warehouses, commercial surfaces, means of transport, containers and fiscal deposits, ports and airports and more than 1,612 administrative and criminal offenses have been detected, with 68 detainees and 52 investigated .

During the operation, which covered from December 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021, the Civil Guard has intensified the surveillance on the relevant threat posed by agri-food fraud and in which the preparation and distribution of counterfeit products is highlighted or of low quality, which directly influences the consumer market, as highlights the body.

The researchers have detected several modus operandi, such as the falsification of documents for the importation of adulterated alcohols or timbrate effects or seals of the containers themselves.

In the case of equine meat, the falsification of the documentation of the horses that enables them for human consumption has been confederated.

Meanwhile, in the saffron, adulteration of the original product has been observed with colorless substances not allowed to increase the economic benefit.

In the tenth edition of Operation Opson, police authorities from 72 countries have participated, 26 of whom were Member States of the European Union, which have performed around 68,000 controls, with 663 arrests at European level.

As it has been possible to quantify, the detected economic fraud amounts to about 53.8 million euros, with a total of 15,451 tons of seized food.

Among the most outstanding actions in Spain highlights the one carried out by the Civil Guard of Pontevedra in coordination with the Republican National Guard of Portugal, which dismantled the largest international network dedicated to the trade of bivalves not suitable for human consumption.

An operation that culminated with the arrest of eight people, seven mercantile companies investigated and the seizure of 120,000 euros, 25 vehicles and 12 vessels.

In La Rioja, in a joint action of the Civil Guard and the Tax Agency was investigated to a criminal organization dedicated mainly to the falsification of timbrate effects that imported from China.

In addition, actions were performed in La Rioja, Jaén and Ciudad Real and about 300,000 bottles, 171,200 counterfeit tax prevents, 47,660 liters of whiskey and 9,550 liters of alcohol for the elaboration of the fraudulent product were carried out.

This operation culminated with a total of 14 people detained or investigated.

The Leon Seprona team investigated three wine-based business companies that were engaged in bottling and fraudulent wine labeling with denominations of origin or protected geographical indications that sold at a low price compared to other trademarks that use the same grape variety.

In the registry in the three companies more than 25,000 bottles of wine with fraudulent label were intervened.

Also the Seprona team, but this time that of the Command of Barcelona, acted against a criminal organization dedicated to the marketing of equine meat not suitable for human consumption.

To introduce the meat of the animals in the food chain they used identification documentation of supposedly falsified equine.

A total of 33 detainees and 2 investigated by crimes against public health, professional intrusage, offense of documentary falsehood and another belonging to criminal organization was the final result of the investigation.

The Civil Guard explains that it has collaborated with different entities and agencies of the public and private scope, both nationally and regularly, and emphasizes the close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, which has participated in the inspections carried out and in training work for the Agents

Updated Date: 03 August 2021, 18:26

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