And finally… virgin territory

Hundreds of thousands of litres of counterfeit olive oil have been seized as part of a wide-ranging criminal investigation into an international olive oil racket.

Spanish and Italian police, working with Europol, arrested 11 people in closely co-ordinated raids targeting a gang believed to be producing shoddy oil for global distribution.

The operation allegedly diluted genuine olive oil with so-called ‘lampante oil’, which was historically used as fuel for oil lamps. It is not considered suitable for human consumption.

The raids in November resulted in the seizure of 12 barrels containing 260,000 litres of adulterated oil, as well as four vehicles and €91,000 in cash.

“A mix of various factors, such as the general inflation of prices, reduced olive oil production and increasing demand, have created the perfect breeding ground for fraudulent producers,” Europol said.

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