The Civil Guard seizes 300 tons and 39,000 liters of counterfeit food and drinks

Operation Opson VIII, directed against food fraud, this year has focused on products of daily use such as meat, fish, eggs, oil and spices, labeled as organic

More than 2,500 inspections and inspections have been carried out in stores, markets, airports, maritime ports and industrial estates, where more than 1,500 administrative infractions and 13 criminal offenses have been detected, with 35 people arrested / investigated

The Civil Guard, together with the General Secretary of INTERPOL, in collaboration with EUROPOL, coordinates a high impact operation at an international level called OPSON VIII, focused on the fight against counterfeiting, adulteration, sale, labeling, trade or illegal distribution of products. food and economic fraud.

300 tons of food and more than 39,000 liters of drinks potentially harmful to health have been intervened. There are 35 people arrested / investigated and more than 2,500 checks and inspections have been carried out in shops, markets, airports, seaports and industrial estates, where more than 1,500 administrative offenses and 13 criminal offenses have been made.
At the request of the European Food Fraud Network this year the operation has focused on the products of daily use such as meat, fish, eggs, oil and spices, labeled as organic.
In recent years there is a significant threat in Europe, and also in Spain, relating to food fraud, which covers a varied casuistry in which the production and distribution of counterfeit or low quality products stands out.
This year, 78 countries participated in the eighth edition of the OPSON operation, increasing the number of countries involved each year (67 countries in 2018). In this operation, members of the Police, Customs, as well as public and private organisms in food control material participated.
It has collaborated with different entities and organizations in the public and private sectors both nationally and regionally, highlighting the close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. This Ministry has participated in the inspections carried out and training activities for the agents who were going to carry out the inspections, with special mention to the General Subdirectorate of Differentiated Quality and Ecological Production and the General Subdirectorate of Control and Food Laboratories.

Featured operations

  • In Granada, the Civil Guard has detained 3 people as alleged perpetrators of fraud, falsification of documents and other related to the market and consumers. They would have sold about 500 tons of vegetables (zucchini, pepper and cucumber) as organic, while their suppliers were not certified as organic, since they came from conventional and conversion agriculture.
  • During an inspection in Madrid, the Seprona detected 2 consignments of eggs from Cuenca and Cáceres, which had been marketed as organic, but were of a lower category and did not meet the specifications established by current legislation. A total of 45,360 eggs were intervened and 6 people were arrested / investigated for the alleged crimes of falsification of documents, fraud and related to the market and consumers.
  • In Alicante, following a case received within the European Food Fraud Network for irregularities in the sale of saffron, the Civil Guard detected a clandestine laboratory, and investigated 2 people for food fraud and against public health, with the apprehension of 87 kilos of saffron valued at an approximate price of between 696,000 and 870,000 euros.
  • In Ciudad Real, in coordination with Health Inspectors of the Autonomic Administration, the Seprona inspected a ship dedicated to the processing of chicken legs for human consumption and export to Asian countries. 30 tons of the aforementioned product were immobilized, which lacked sanitary registration and the respective autonomous and municipal administrative authorizations. A person was arrested / investigated for a crime against public health with food products.


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