`Nineteen Arrested Over Alleged Olive Oil Fraud - Olive Oil Times

Nineteen Arrested Over Alleged Olive Oil Fraud

Feb. 10, 2012
Julie Butler

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Spanish police this week arrested 19 peo­ple allegedly linked to a com­plex net­work engaged in multi-mil­lion euro olive oil fraud, money laun­der­ing and tax eva­sion.

According to Diaro Jaén, the police – who swooped on Wednesday after a year-long probe by a Madrid-based eco­nomic crime unit – believe that com­pa­nies involved in the ring’ had been sell­ing other, lower qual­ity veg­etable oils as extra virgin.The paper reported that most of those arrested were busi­ness own­ers or man­agers of olive oil mills in var­i­ous parts of the province of Jaén.

Among them was busi­ness­man Enrique Fuentes Ibáñez, who already risks a 13-year jail sen­tence in the sep­a­rate Iniosa case. In that case, Spanish pros­e­cu­tors allege he was the brains behind an alleged fraud in which more than 200 olive grow­ers in Jaén and Córdoba deliv­ered their 2001 and 2002 olive har­vests to a com­pany which later declared bank­ruptcy, leav­ing them unpaid.

Two of his sons were said to be among the 19 arrested this week, all of whom have since been charged and released pend­ing trial. More arrests have been tipped.

The news­pa­per said it was believed that those arrested were part of a cor­po­rate net­work involv­ing straw men’, shell com­pa­nies and tax havens” that also allegedly evaded mil­lions in taxes.


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