100,000-tonne non-organic food fraud exposed in Italy

Last Updated: Sat, Jul 20, 2013 03:50 hrs

Rome, July 20 (IANS) A major fraud, involving fake organic grain products weighing over 100,000 tonnes being sold at very high prices in the national and European markets, has come to light in Italy.

Police detained 16 people from across the country after finding the non-organic grain products being sold as organic, reported Xinhua citing Italian daily L'Unione Sarda.

The criminal organisation had a pyramid structure based in Sardinia island, able to obtain counterfeit certifications for suppliers and sell products at a far higher price that usual.

A Sardinian parent company owned some sham companies, set up in various regions throughout Italy that acted as intermediaries, investigators said.

Police also uncovered tax evasion adding up to more than 55 million euros (about $72 million) in the operation.

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