Uncovered a business plot that sold false organic pistachios in Spain and France

The operation has resulted in 14 people investigated in Ciudad Real, Madrid and Malaga who would have obtained a profit of more than six million euros

They are charged with crimes of fraud, against public health, money laundering, document falsification and crime related to the market and consumers

The Civil Guard, within the framework of the Pevera operation, has detected a company that was engaged in the production, distribution and sale of supposedly organic pistachios under a brand that did not meet these requirements.

The operation, which began in 2019 and with the collaboration of EUROPOL, has resulted in the investigation of 14 people in Ciudad Real, Madrid and Malaga. In these provinces, SEPRONA has intervened the pistachios received by various companies with a fraudulent use of organic certification.

The Civil Guard estimates that the benefits obtained with this deception are greater than six million euros. With this fraudulent practice, they caused the economic return to rise between 60 and 80% above the real value of the product.

Pistachio mix

The Civil Guard detected a mixture of organic pistachio with conventional pistachio as a result of laboratory reports in which pesticidal chemical compounds such as “glyphosate” or “chlorate” were found, making it incompatible with the organic farming process.

The main Spanish marketer was dedicated to distributing these pistachios without the requirements established by the sector, and without any type of guarantee in the ecological certification. Thus, the traceability of the product was lost, constituting a true food fraud for the consumer, who bought the product up to 3 and 4 euros per kilo more expensive.

International collaboration

Thanks to the collaboration of EUROPOL and the French police authorities (French National Gendarmerie -OCLAESP-), the agents were able to learn that the product could be being sold in France.

The collaboration of the Court of Instruction No. 1 of Manzanares and the Court of Meyreuil (France) was essential for the application of the European Investigation Order and records of the main distributor both in Spain and in the neighboring country. The joint investigation proved the modus operandi of the Spanish company and its subsequent sale at the European level.

In France the proceedings are still open.

For more information, you can contact the SEPRONA Press Office at 608 251 069.

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