Spanish investigators clamp down on meat, shellfish fraud operations

Spanish authorities have uncovered the alleged fraudulent sale of meat merchandise as a part of two totally different actions.

The Guardia Civil ran two operations in Madrid and Salamanca, Spain. Within the first motion, named Operation SLICE, greater than 63,000 containers of merchandise had been seized as a result of some had labels that seemed to have been modified.

Authorities arrested six folks and investigated one other two from seven meals corporations within the provinces of Madrid, Córdoba, Toledo and Badajoz. They’re suspected of fixing labeling and utilizing false traceability of meat merchandise to fake they had been Iberian.

Seized objects had been price as much as €967,000 ($1.19 million) and posed a threat to public well being, as a result of they had been thought of unfit for consumption, in accordance with the Guardia Civil.

Labeling and documentation points
The investigation started this previous 12 months when suspicious documentation was recognized on merchandise ready on the market as Iberian in a warehouse in Córdoba. They had been despatched to a grocery store chain on the market nationwide, which was unaware of the product fraud.

In one of many grocery store chain’s logistics facilities in Getafe, the sale of 5,768 packages of supposedly Iberian merchandise was stopped. Officers found that in different storage services in Córdoba, Toledo, Barcelona, Seville, Málaga, Alicante, Almería, Cádiz, Zaragoza and Valladolid, containers additionally confirmed the identical irregularities.

Within the different motion, an organization promoting cured pork merchandise, which had two bodily shops in Jaén and an internet site for direct sale to the general public was considered fraudulently promoting merchandise, particularly hams.

These chargeable for the corporate, a person and a girl residing in La Carolina in Jaén have been investigated for being behind the fraud.

The agency bought hams as one hundred pc Bellota with the Guijuelo Protected Designation of Origin signal at a cheaper price than these legally marketed below that title and didn’t adjust to the Iberian high quality normal.

Labels with falsified logos of the Guijuelo Protected Designation of Origin and hams already labeled and prepared for cargo had been seized as traceability couldn’t be confirmed.

Shady shellfish
The Guardia Civil was additionally concerned in uncovering a world community that traded shellfish unfit for human consumption.

The bivalve-Tagus Clam operation, coordinated by Europol and Eurojust, led to eight folks being arrested and 7 corporations being investigated.

In complete, 1.5 tons of primarily Japanese clams, €120,000 ($147,000), 25 autos and 12 boats had been amongst issues confiscated by authorities.

Shellfish had been stated to have come from the Sado River however truly got here from Tagus Estuary which is mostly extra contaminated. Clams had been purchased by Spanish therapy crops after which bought and exported to different nations of the European Union with out having gone by the obligatory decontamination therapy.

Investigated corporations operated in Spain, Portugal and Italy and all of the clams got here from poaching shellfish off the coast of Portugal.

At a Meals Fraud Community assembly in Could 2020, the European Fee stated it was conscious of irregularities within the motion of bivalve mollusks and referred to as on nations to research.

An investigation into the trafficking of clams in December 2019 linked it to the meals poisoning of not less than 27 folks in Spain. The clams had been suspected of getting been collected in non-authorized harvest areas in Portugal. Washing helped eliminate micro organism equivalent to E. coli however didn’t remove viruses like norovirus and hepatitis A.

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