Fake and substandard food: Operation OPSON IV launched in Madrid

06 June 2014
Press Release/News
Madrid, 3 & 4 June 2014

Europol, INTERPOL and Guardia Civil jointly organised the debriefing meeting of the operation OPSON III and the launch meeting of OPSON IV on 3 & 4 June 2014. The two day event took place in Madrid, in the Directorate General of Guardia Civil. Mr Arsenio Fernández de Mesa, Director General of GC, opened the meeting and the Secretary of State for Security, Mr Francisco Martínez Vasquez, gave the concluding remarks.

Operation OPSON is a Europol INTERPOL joint operation targeting fake and substandard food and beverages.

Key Statistics

Initiated in 2011 with 10 participating countries, OPSON III in 2013 welcomed the involvement of 31 countries, among them 18 EU MS. During a month of action in December 2013, 8,660 inspections, 1,813 cases and 103 suspects were reported. In total, 5,661 tonnes, 681,000 litres, 255,000 pieces of food and beverage were seized or withdrawn from markets.

33 countries attended the meeting in Madrid during which countries presented the final results of the operational phase of OPSON III and discussed the future of the operation, with the official opening of its fourth phase. Representatives of the private sector taking part in OPSON also contributed.

Europol – FP Copy and INTERPOL – Trafficking in illicit goods programme have coordinated the operation and provide strategic as well as operational support since 2011. Spain has been particularly committed since OPSON I with GC coordinating the national checks and liaising with other competent authorities. For OPSON III, Spain reported 2,339 checks throughout the national territory. 1,663 administrative infringements were discovered, and 25 persons were detained. Authorities seized 500 tons of food and 400,000 litres of drinks.