SEVILLE – The Civil Guard has arrested 12 people and questioned 11 others for their alleged involvement in the theft and resale of olives in Seville.
In total, more than 74 tons of olives were seized. The operation began by investigating a group of individuals believed to have been involved in the theft of large quantities of copper from irrigation facilities. These thefts negatively affected irrigation and fruit quality due to the lack of water.
How it started
During the investigation, the officers discovered that the leader of the group also stole large quantities of olives and clandestinely delivered them at night to a purchasing point in Pilas, Seville. The warehouse owner placed the olives directly in brine so that they could not be detected during inspections.
Inspection and arrests
In a second phase of the investigation, officials from various Andalucian regional government departments carried out inspections. The owner of the warehouse was arrested on suspicion of fencing and a crime against public health. Four of his children are also being investigated for their involvement in purchasing and processing the stolen olives.
The seized olives have an estimated market value of half a million euros. In addition, very serious violations were also found, such as illegal dumping of waste and having an unsanitary septic tank. The judicial authority immediately ordered the closure of the company and sent the group’s leader to prison.
In an additional action, three people were caught stealing olives in the municipality of Arahal last Wednesday evening. They tried to escape in two vehicles but were eventually arrested. A total of 1,270 kilos of olives of the Manzanilla variety were seized, with a value of €2,408.
The operation is part of a more comprehensive “Anti-Farm Theft Plan” and specifically targeted the current olive harvest campaign. Developments are being closely monitored to prevent further crime in the agricultural sector.