A Moroccan immigrant in Spain has been sabotaging his employer’s exports by concealing broken glass in shipments of lettuce. Many thanks to our Spanish correspondent Hermes for translating this article from Diario de Avisos:
Worker detained for hiding broken glass in lettuces
April 27, 2012
Europa Press, Murcia
The Civil Guard in the Murcia region has carried out “Operation Batavia”, which resulted the arrest of a worker at a food company in the Murcia region on suspicion of a crime against public health for introducing fragments of broken glass in boxes of lettuces intended for export.
The investigation began early last March, when an exporter of agricultural products from the Murcia region received a warning from their overseas customers about finding shipments of lettuces with fragments of broken glass inside, having noticed this fact just before distributing the lettuces to the final consumers.
After ruling out diverse assumptions about an alleged ‘contamination’ of the exported products, authorities established a line of research focused on the presumed responsibility of the people close to the company, more specifically to the production line, beginning to study the traceability of each shipment affected.
According to this hypothesis, sources from the Civil Guard informed that the alleged perpetrator could have introduced the pieces of broken glass in the boxes during the process of harvest, between the cutting of the vegetables on the field and its subsequent transfer to the processing compound.
After a quick investigation, the police agents determined the relationship of one of the workers of the company, who had been working in harvesting and storing for 12 years, with the above-mentioned facts.
Once all necessary evidence was collected, measures were taken last Wednesday (April 25) to localize, arrest and subsequently take into custody a person under suspicion of the criminal acts already investigated.
The severity of the events resulted in the loss of the shipments which were already at their destination, both those in transit and those who were waiting to be carried away by the buyers after the companies concerned suspended the shipment. The losses hitting the agricultural company have reached the amount of €200,000 euros so far.
Similar incidents occurred in the company back in 2007, but at that time the suspects could not be identified.
This research resulted in the arrest of a person identified as E.H., Moroccan, 49, who lives in Torre Pacheco, under suspicion of crimes against public health, who has already a police record of similar acts committed previously.
The detainee and the proceedings initiated have been made available to the Court of Instruction No. 6, San Javier (Murcia).
Photo: 20 Minutos
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