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€6 million in illegal profit of fraudulent organic pistachio sales

  • €6 million in illegal profit of fraudulent organic pistachio sales
    €6 million in illegal profit of fraudulent organic pistachio sales (Bild: Europol)
  • €6 million in illegal profit of fraudulent organic pistachio sales
    €6 million in illegal profit of fraudulent organic pistachio sales (Bild: Europol)
2020-12-18 13:08:02
newsbot by content-proivder.ch GmbH
Quelle: Europol

The operation began in 2019, with various reports of ecological certifications being misused on pistachios that did not adhere to set agricultural standards, writes Europol.

The Spanish Civil Guard detected a mix of organic and non-organic pistachio nuts that contained pesticides (including glyphosate and chlorate), illegal under requisites imposed by the Spanish agricultural sector. The investigation uncovered that the illegal pesticides were being used to better the quality and quantity of the harvests and increase the monetary value of the production. Marketed as organic the nuts were sold for up to 80% over the retail price of non-organic pistachios.

The nuts from the main Spanish distributor were also being sold in France under false organic certifications. The operation resulted in 14 arrests in Ciudad Real, Madrid and Malaga (Spain). Those arrested were accused of fraud against public health, money laundering, falsification of documents and crime related to market and consumers.

It is estimated that these individuals made a profit of €6 million. Europol supported the investigation by deploying an officer, mobile office and forensic equipment to Spain. In addition, a virtual command post was set up to further ensure the exchange, management and processing of tactical information in near-real-time.

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