Sunday 24 September 2017

Over 1,000 pieces of meat and other foods seized in Ireland as part of international raids

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Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

Gardaí have seized 1,096 pieces of meat and other products as part of a Europe-wide clampdown on food fraud.

The items were discovered when gardaí stopped a van that had been under surveillance for a period of time.

When the vehicle was searched a large quantity of unrefrigerated, unpacked, unlabelled meat and other products were discovered along with alcohol and tobacco.

Europol said in a statement that the van was seized and Customs Officers were granted a warrant in the district court to search the home address of the occupants.

"The food included frozen cooked smoked chicken and various jarred produce containing fruit, vegetable, soup sauce, jams, preserves and condensed milk, totalling 1096 pieces."

The discovery was made as part of operation OPSON - the joint Europol-Interpol operation targeting counterfeit and substandard food and drink, as well as the organised crime networks behind the illicit trade.

In total 9 800 tonnes, over 26.4 million litres, and 13 million units/items of harmful food and drinks worth an estimated €230 million was seized.

The potentially harmful food and beverages ranged from every day products such as alcohol, mineral water, seasoning cubes, seafood and olive oil, to luxury goods such as caviar.

Sopme 61 countries, including 21 EU member states, took part in the sixth annual OPSON between December 1 and March 31.

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