Cagliari

Owner taken into custody for selling false organic food

Police arrest 16 in fraud stretching across Italy

Owner taken into custody for selling false organic food

Cagliari, June 7 - Finance police have arrested 16 people following an investigation into fake organic products worth more than 135 million euros, produced by a Capoterra-based company, authorities said Friday. False certificates attesting to the quality of the products, as well as fake invoices, were issued on products aimed for Italian and European markets, authorities said. The fraud allowed the company to charge the higher prices that certified organic products can fetch. The investigation stretched down the entire peninsula, from Emilia Romagna and the Veneto regions to Lazio, Marche and Puglia as well as on Sardinia. Investigators say they have a total of 24 suspects facing charges ranging from tax evasion to fraud. Those arrested include company owner Benito Cremonini, 77, of Imola and company director Michele Grossi, 38, of Fossombrone. Three people who were government-accredited inspectors face charges of corruption.

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