`Greek Police Make Arrests in Olive Oil Fraud Ring - Olive Oil Times

Greek Police Make Arrests in Olive Oil Fraud Ring

By Marissa Tejada
Jan. 26, 2020 09:31 UTC

Greek police made sev­eral arrests related to two sep­a­rate olive oil fraud rings in the coun­try’s two largest cities.

Olive Oil Theft Ring in Thessaloniki

Four sus­pects are accused of try­ing to sell soy­bean oil mixed with col­orants as extra vir­gin olive oil in the town of Kilkis located just out­side of Thessaloniki.

Law enforce­ment offi­cials from the Kilkis and Paeonia Doiranis police depart­ments col­lab­o­rated on the inves­ti­ga­tion and man­aged to catch the sus­pects in the act after they filled five-liter plas­tic con­tain­ers with col­ored soy­bean oil and tried to sell them to unsus­pect­ing buy­ers. The sus­pects, aged 18, 23, 24, and 40, attempted to sell 1,000 liters of the soy­bean oil for more than 2,500 euros.

Police photo of sus­pected soy­bean oil labeled as extra vir­gin olive oil.

Officers charged them with fraud and they will appear before a court in Veria. The Greek Department of Commerce seized the oil to con­duct a for­mal chem­i­cal analy­sis. The sus­pects appar­ently used var­i­ous dyes to color the soy­bean oil, mak­ing it appear as extra vir­gin olive oil.

Arrest in Athens

In a sep­a­rate case, Greek police arrested a 39-year-old accused of sell­ing fake olive oil in Athens. The arrest was part of a three-month inves­ti­ga­tion into an olive oil fraud ring in the Ano Liosia, Aspropyrgou and Zephr dis­tricts of the cap­i­tal.

According to var­i­ous news reports, the sus­pect placed ads attract­ing busi­ness­men to buy extra vir­gin olive oil. Once the busi­ness­men agreed to buy the olive oil over the phone they were lead to var­i­ous ware­houses to com­plete the deal. In some cases, the sus­pect used phys­i­cal vio­lence when the busi­ness­men became sus­pi­cious. Police say the sus­pect is involved in eight olive oil fraud cases, as well as sev­eral fraud cases in the Greek fur­ni­ture indus­try.

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