Great ham swindle nets €17 million for a Madrid area gang who used fake labels to fool customers

POLICE have busted a giant swindle involving ham exports with bogus health seals that netted a company over €17 million in five years.

Six people have been arrested by the Policia Nacional in the Madrid region towns of Leganes and Sesena.

They all held positions in a meat-cutting firm on a Leganes industrial estate where they usurped the identity of a genuine company by using their seals and labelling on their products.



The firm that owned the legal seal was totally unaware of the long-standing fraud, as the bogus-labelled ham- that had not passed stringent health checks- was distributed to customers at home and abroad.

The Policia Nacional in Madrid estimate that the swindlers made more than €17 million and started looking into their company last November.

Labour and health inspectors joined the investigation to carry out a raid on the Leganes warehouse.

Health officials immediately destroyed 10 pallets of ham that were stored in cold rooms due to irregularities over food preservation.


Six people have been charged with fraud, falsifying documents, and belonging to a criminal gang.

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