Spanish police investigate international scam involving sale of non-certified organic grapes

The Guardia Civil of Alicante has started an investigation on two men and a woman of Spanish nationality for fraud, belonging to a criminal group, document forging and crimes against consumer rights, for allegedly marketing up to a total of 15 tons of conventional table grapes which were sold as organic.

The ROCA Team (Team Against Theft in the Field) of the Guardia Civil of the municipality of Ibi launched the investigation in mid-December, following reports from the Committee of Organic Agriculture of the Region of Valencia (CAECV) and the Regulatory Council of the Protected Designation of Origin Table Grape of Vinalopó.

According to the statements of these two organizations, a company based in the Alicante municipality of Agost was carrying out the sale of conventional grapes as organic, making use of forged labels and logos.

In the course of the investigations, the Guardia Civil found out that the most recent activity of this company had been the shipment of 20 tons of supposedly organic grapes to various companies based in Madrid, Navarre, Barcelona and Perpignan (France). Apparently, only 5 of the tons sold had been harvested from organically grown vineyards. For its part, the company committing fraud would have illegally generated an income of between 14,000 and 24,000 Euro from the product's sale.

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