CONTAMINATED orange imports destined for wholesalers in the Valencian Community, have been impounded after a Guardia Civil raid in Barcelona.
20 tons of oranges were earmarked by an Alicante firm that distributed the fruit which had been sprayed witha pesticide called chlorpyrifos- prohibited by the European Union since 2020.
Seven people are being investigated for public health and fraud crimes.
Regional farmers are campaigning against cheap citrus imports from non-EU countries that vastly undercut their prices and are said at times not to meet appropriate health standards.
The oranges were shipped in to Barcelona from Egypt and bought by the gang leader, based in Alicante Province.
The man admitted to the Guardia Civil said that he was well aware about the prohibited pesticide being used.
He then distributed the forbidden fruit to a chain of wholesale companies in Barcelona, Murcia, and Valencia via his Alicante area firm.
The main part of the deception was the creation of bogus documentation that showed the oranges were discovered to have been treated with chlorpyrifos and were withdrawn from sale.
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