Investigation Opened in Spain for Adulterated Olive Oil Exported to Italy

Spain received an international judicial cooperation request from Italy after the country conducted several investigations which confirmed the falsification of oil products from Andalusia.

Feb. 23, 2017
By Eduardo Hernandez

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A com­pany in Córdoba, Spain, along with other enti­ties in Andalusia, are under inves­ti­ga­tion for allegedly export­ing adul­ter­ated olive oils to Italy to be sold as authen­tic extra vir­gin olive oil. A report for the inves­ti­ga­tion has been filed by La Fiscalía Provincial de Córdoba.

Spain received an inter­na­tional judi­cial coop­er­a­tion request from Italy after the coun­try con­ducted sev­eral inves­ti­ga­tions which con­firmed the fal­si­fi­ca­tion of oil prod­ucts.

Preliminary pro­ce­dures for a com­plete inves­ti­ga­tion of the pos­si­ble crime against con­sumers were ini­ti­ated late last year by the Públic Minister. In the wake of the cur­rent case, a report allow­ing for the con­tin­u­a­tion of the pre­lim­i­nary pro­ce­dures to inves­ti­gate three coop­er­a­tive com­pa­nies that are sus­pected of sell­ing adul­ter­ated oils was remit­ted by the Jaén Public Prosecutor’s Office, and the chair­man of the munic­i­pal­ity of Villacarrillo.

The adul­ter­ated oils were sold in Italy by var­i­ous oper­a­tors after they were processed through a process of deacid­i­fi­ca­tion and deodor­iza­tion which allowed the prod­ucts to pose as extra vir­gin olive oil or lam­pante olive oil to be exported, accord­ing to a doc­u­ment obtained by Europa Press.

The crime may have been occur­ring for years since author­i­ties in Italy claim to have detected a sim­i­lar case in 2013 and have also requested for judi­cial coop­er­a­tion to inves­ti­gate three other com­pa­nies in the Tarragona, Sevilla and Córdoba provinces.

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The inves­ti­ga­tion found that the olive oil pro­vided by the Spanish sup­pli­ers to at least nine clients, stored in cis­tern trucks, arrived in Salerno dis­guised as extra vir­gin olive oil. The oils were sub­mit­ted for ana­lyt­i­cal inspec­tion and six of the prod­ucts ana­lyzed turned out to have irreg­u­lar­i­ties in respect to organolep­tic req­ui­sites.

In five other occa­sions, tech­ni­cal treat­ments that are not allowed in the mar­ket, such as the process of deodor­iz­ing, were sus­pected to have occurred when the tests that were ana­lyzed sig­naled anom­alous fac­tors.

According to a for­mer inves­ti­ga­tion, it was deduced that the Spanish com­pa­nies of Córdoba and Almería were likely con­nected.

Both com­pa­nies from Córdoba and Almería that were involved in the deceit are one and the same in the eyes of Italian author­i­ties. They are con­vinced that the Spanish sup­plier intended to dis­perse the effects of the inspec­tion that were first ana­lyzed in the var­i­ous ship­ments.



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