CRIMINAL charges against a gang alleged to have produced counterfeit olive oil has been dropped by prosecutors.
The year-long investigation by Spanish police, codenamed Operation Lucerna, involved 30 companies and led to the arrest of 19 people in February on charges including tax evasion.
Based in Jaen and Cordoba, the elaborate scam was alleged to have involved the use of cheap oils such as palm and avocado with a view to selling it as olive oil.
But prosecutors have abandoned the case after admitting there is insufficient evidence of a criminal offence having been committed.
While bottles were found with contents that didn’t correspond with the labels, there was no suggestion that they had been offered or advertised for sale.