19 arrested in olive oil scam

Police and Inland Revenue officers have dismantled a large international network involved in the production, sale and distribution of poor quality olive oils, many a mix of palm, avocado and sunflower oils.

The organisation included a network of over 30 companies and proxies in Spain, Italy and Portugal as part of a scam to avoid payment of IVA. It is estimated that the Inland Revenue was defrauded of more than three million euros.

The product marketed as olive oil by the organisation was a mix of low quality oils such as palm, avocado and sunflower, and was produced at a factory set up to produce biodiesel fuel.

Nineteen people have been arrested in connection with the scam, 15 Spanish, 2 Ecuadorians, 1 Colombian and 1 Italian.

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