Starting this Monday, the National Court is judging four people accused of selling 5-liter bottles of oil to intermediaries - intended for final consumers - that were labeled as extra virgin olive oil, but that in reality contained a mixture of sunflower oil and olive oil. olive in an approximate proportion of 70 and 30%.
They carried out this operation at least during 2017 and 2018, according to the indictment of the National Court Prosecutor's Office to which Europa Press has had access, "in execution of the plan that they had previously devised" and acting "with the intention of enrichment." illicit".
The Public Ministry indicates that the facts constitute a crime of forgery in a commercial document committed by an individual, a crime against industrial property and a continuing crime of fraud, and requests a sentence of 13 years in prison for each one.
According to the Prosecutor's Office, in order to obtain the greatest possible profit, those involved sold these bottles at a price lower than the market price, and also lower than what they themselves paid when purchasing them, so that they profited from the difference in price per liter between the oil mixture that they passed off as extra virgin olive oil and the true cost of this type of oil.
He adds that in 2017 they put those 5-liter bottles of 'Bellum Olei' brand oil on the market, "a brand that they invented themselves and that never had a real existence", stating on the label that it was extra virgin olive oil, with the indication protected geographical 'Jaén oil' when in reality it was a mixture of oils.
Furthermore, to mislead the authenticity of the oil, the label stated that the oil was produced by the Virgen de las Angustias Cooperative in Úbeda, Jaén, with a health registration number, email and barcode, "all of which are data mendacious."
The Prosecutor's Office points out that the plot, through the company Distribuciones Chacón, sent 153 bottles of adulterated mixture to consumers and they were sold, among others, in the Córdoba towns of Postes, Monte Alto-La Carlota and Guijarrosa-Santaella.
The same operation as with 'Bellum Olei' continued with bottles of the 'Carrasqueño' brand. They pointed out that it was extra virgin olive oil that was produced by the Andalusian Cooperative Society 'Virgen del Perpetuo Socorro' of Alcaudete (Jaén) but it was not true "since, again, the oil they sold was an adulterated mixture."
In this case, the Prosecutor's Office explains that they transported the purchased oil to an industrial warehouse located in the town of Aguilar de la Frontera (Córdoba) and once there they proceeded to remove the bottles that the box contained from the bottom, cutting the seal of the 'Carrasqueño' brand.
"Then they emptied the olive oil jugs by drilling a hole in the cap, leaving the jugs empty and ready to be filled with the mixture of olive and sunflower oil," he adds.
Once they filled the claws with the mixed oil, they placed new sealed plugs on them and hit them with a rubber hammer until they were completely closed and airtight. "Then they introduced the bottles into the box, from the bottom, closed it with a mendacious 'Carrasqueño' brand seal and put the box in its correct position," says the Prosecutor's Office.
And to provide veracity to the business, the accused gave the buyers the documentation that they in turn gave them the cooperative, such as the validation authorization by the Junta de Andalucía to manufacture, process and transform olive oil, as well as for packaging, the technical sheet of the product and its general characteristics, description of the process and conditions and analytical report on olive oil technical services.
The Public Ministry points out that in that cooperative they acquired, and then adulterated it, up to 74,000 liters of extra virgin olive oil. And he adds that they used merely instrumental companies to acquire the necessary material to carry out this mixture and that none of them had real activity.
The Prosecutor's Office indicates that so that the "Virgen del Perpetuo Socorro" cooperative would not suspect their activity, the defendants began a commercial relationship with it beyond olive oil, so that in December 2017 they proceeded to sell it a series of Iberian hams that they had in turn acquired from the company 'Cobedis, Comestibles y Bebidas SL'. They also sold adulterated oil to that company for an amount of 26,500 euros.