Crime

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Stories within News From Elsewhere tagged as Crime are most often related to massive quantities of drugs hidden within agricultural shipments. As an endless stream of agricultural products are routinely shipped across borders and around the world every day, hiding other commodities within these shipments is not uncommon. Sometimes the value of the drugs contained in the shipments can reach tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars.

Cocaine and heroin worth millions hidden in pallets of fruit and veg

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2021-Jan-14 Thu 07:30
2021-Jan-14 Thu 07:30
2721

An international drugs gang has attempted to import cocaine and heroin worth millions of pounds hidden in consignments of fruit and vegetables from the Netherlands. Port authorities discovered drugs with a street value of £40 mln when they intercepted four shipments destined for the north of England but…

These customers were promised shipping containers. Now they're out thousands of dollars

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2021-Jan-04 Mon 05:00
2021-Jan-04 Mon 05:00
2632

Scammers are duping Canadians out of tens of thousands of dollars with the promise of new shipping containers — and they're bringing down legitimate companies with them.

Researchers Develop Devices to Detect Adulteration in Basmati Rice

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Dec-29 Tue 11:15
2020-Dec-29 Tue 11:15
2624

A team of researchers from India and the UK develop two devices that can detect adulteration in the prized long-grained rice

The Magic of Making Olive Oil without Olives

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Dec-14 Mon 13:30
2020-Dec-14 Mon 13:30
2498

Find records of fraud such as those discussed in this column and more in the Food Fraud Database. Image credit: Susanne Kuehne

Food forgery cases keep raising great concerns about consumers’ health and safety all over the world. The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply in Brazil prohibited sales of nine brands of fake olive oil. A criminal organization sold soybean oil as extra virgin olive oil under fictitious labels. All oils sold under these brands are being pulled from the market and destroyed. Several Brazilian agencies were working together on this case, including the Consumer Protection Police (Decon).

Government of Canada protects Canadians against food fraud in honey and other products

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Dec-08 Tue 03:43
2020-Dec-08 Tue 03:43
2384

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is working to identify and mitigate risks in the food supply chain so that Canadians are protected from food misrepresentation, which is a common form of food fraud.

United Arab Emirates: 123 kgs of drugs hidden in fruit and veg container seized in Sharjah

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Dec-04 Fri 13:30
2020-Dec-04 Fri 13:30
2364

Sharjah is the third largest and third most populous city in the United Arab Emirates. This week, Sharjah Customs recently seized an illegal shipment of crystal methamphetamine, weighing 123kg. The shipment, which was coming through a sea port, was hidden at the bottom of a refrigerated container loaded…

Honey Fraud: Try This Simple Test Suggested by FSSAI to Check If Your Honey is Adulterated with Sugar or Not

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Dec-04 Fri 02:08
2020-Dec-04 Fri 02:08
2363

A Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) investigtion report has recently exposed that the honey sold by some of the major Indian brands like Patanjali and Dabur is adulterated.

CBP Field Operations seizes nearly $3 million in hard narcotics at Pharr International Bridge

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Dec-03 Thu 14:56
2020-Dec-03 Thu 14:56
2347

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility intercepted alleged methamphetamine and heroin worth $2,987,000 in a commercial shipment of fresh carrots arriving from Mexico. “This interception of hard narcotics in the commercial…

Things Do Not Get Better With Sage

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-30 Mon 21:34
2020-Nov-30 Mon 21:34
2305

Find records of fraud such as those discussed in this column and more in the Food Fraud Database. Image credit: Susanne Kuehne

Herbs remain a target for fraudsters. The latest investigation of sage samples by the Institute of Global Food Security (IGFS) at Queen’s University Belfast used a combination of spectroscopic and chemometric methods to check whether sage contained 100% of the actual herb. One quarter of samples from the UK included unapproved (fortunately, no hazardous) bulk material, such as tree leaves, some in significant concentrations of more than half of the product.

Smart ports and their ability to curb drug trafficking

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-30 Mon 11:14
2020-Nov-30 Mon 11:14
2290

The seizures of large quantities of drugs at seaports have been on the rise worldwide. The increase in shipping operations, coupled with large container ships doubling in size in the past couple of years, has provided an attractive mode of transport for drug traffickers. African ports are subject to this…

142 Pound of Meth, Heroin Found in Carrot Load at Texas Border Crossing

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-26 Thu 13:40
2020-Nov-26 Thu 13:40
2268

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized nearly $3 million in methamphetamine and heroin at a Texas crossing Tuesday. Officials report the 142 pounds of drugs were stashed in a shipment of carrots.

Plants that Hired Illegal Aliens Paid Unlawful Wages, Hired a Child

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-23 Mon 17:16
2020-Nov-23 Mon 17:16
2219

Three food processing plants in Mississippi, raided by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency last year, were found to have also paid workers below the minimum wage and one plant hired a child.

Singapore firms fined for illegal food imports

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-10 Tue 12:23
2020-Nov-10 Tue 12:23
2098

Four Singapore companies have been fined in the past month, being accused of illegally importing food products. All of the firms had penalties set in court. In October, CCL Impex Pte Ltd. was fined S$3,600 (US$2,700) for illegally importing fresh fruits, vegetables and processed food for sale. In…

A Way Too Efficient Pesticide

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-09 Mon 23:35
2020-Nov-09 Mon 23:35
2090

Europol, the European police authority, estimates that up to 15% of pesticides are unapproved or counterfeit, resulting an annual impact of more than $6.5 billion on the legitimate pesticide industry. It is often unknown what ingredients are in these counterfeit products. Such substances, often sold online, can pose serious health and environmental risks. During the first half of 2020, Europol has seized a record amount of unapproved pesticides. Profit margins for criminals are very high due to relatively low production costs for pesticides. Criminals avoid the tedious, expensive and lengthy approval processes which are usually contributing significantly to the pesticides’ costs.

"Price differences can make falsification of geographical origin profitable"

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-05 Thu 10:07
2020-Nov-05 Thu 10:07
2058

A few weeks ago there was a million-dollar fraud case in the Austrian fruit trade: 460 tons of apples of Czech origin were offered on the market as Austrian goods. Imprint LLC, based in Neutal in Burgenland, has been fighting this type of fraud for many years. Managing Director Bernd Bodiselitsch…

Philippines Customs destroys illegally imported vegetables and smuggled cigarettes

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-03 Tue 07:40
2020-Nov-03 Tue 07:40
2026

Last Sunday, the Philippines Bureau of Customs destroyed about P215 million (€2.25 mln) worth of smuggled cigarettes that were seized. Three 40-footer containers of illegally imported vegetables, such as onions, were also destroyed at a rendering facility in Porac, Pampanga on Friday. According to…

2 huge fermenting tanks stolen from new B.C. brewery found before being turned into scrap

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-23 Fri 15:15
2020-Oct-23 Fri 15:15
1911

Two stolen fermentation tanks — worth more than $40,000 — have turned up in local scrap yards. The massive tanks turned up at separate yards, and one is more damaged than the other.

CANAPEP demands all pineapple containers are scanned before they're exported

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-23 Fri 13:25
2020-Oct-23 Fri 13:25
1907

The National Chamber of Pineapple Producers and Exporters (CANAPEP) has requested that the authorities of the Ministry of Finance and Public Security scan 100% of the containers loaded with fresh and industrial pineapple that the country exports, regardless of the destination port, to prevent these…

Food Fraud With Nasty Results

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-21 Wed 01:18
2020-Oct-21 Wed 01:18
1875

Global food supply chains are complex and therefore quite vulnerable to errors or fraudulent activity. A company in Chile repackaged and falsely labeled cheap raspberries from China, reselling them as top-level organic Chilean raspberries in Canada. These raspberries were linked to a norovirus outbreak in Canada, sickening hundreds of people. A whistleblower complaint helped to uncover this fraudulent scheme that posed a significant risk to human health.

Listen To Your Elder(berries)

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-13 Tue 23:56
2020-Oct-13 Tue 23:56
1800

As a tasty source of Vitamin C, B6, antioxidants, iron and more, elderberries have been a growing part of the latest health, immune boosting and wellness trends. Currently, the demand exceeds the supply for elderberries. For the past four to five years, this growth in popularity has been inviting adulteration of elderberry with other dark berries such as blueberries, as well as dyes, black rice and other materials. According to the Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program, such fraud can be detected by a variety of chromatographic methods.

800 Pound Meth Seizure Breaks Arizona Port Record

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-07 Wed 14:32
2020-Oct-07 Wed 14:32
1721

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the Nogales Port of Entry in Arizona seized 800 pounds of methamphetamine and fentanyl being smuggling into the United States from Mexico. This sets a new record for the Nogales Port of Entry.

How a Chilean raspberry scam dodged food safety controls from China to Canada

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-07 Wed 08:43
2020-Oct-07 Wed 08:43
1703

In January 2017, Chilean Customs inspectors acted on a tip from a whistleblower: The country’s prized crop of raspberries was under threat. Inspectors raided the offices of Frutti di Bosco, a little-known fruit trading company on the second floor of a tower block in downtown Santiago. The files, company…

To Bee Or Not To Bee

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-07 Wed 01:15
2020-Oct-07 Wed 01:15
1700

Fake honey is an enormous economical burden on beekeepers and consumers around the world. Adulteration methods are becoming more and more sophisticated. Besides the old-fashioned scams of real honey getting diluted or replaced by syrup, new tricks show up, for example pollen getting blended into syrup, chemical alteration of syrup to confuse tests, fake honey traveling through a number of countries to mask its country of origin, or a combination of these methods. Since the adulterated honey does not pose a risk to consumer’s health, government enforcement to detect and punish honey adulteration has not been very strong. So far, authenticity tests are mostly left to the private sector and the honey industry.

Police seek tips after fish hooks, trip wires and nails left in Vancouver community garden

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-30 Wed 09:28
2020-Sep-30 Wed 09:28
1599

Vancouver police say they've run out of leads in their investigation into who set traps in a community garden in Mount Pleasant last week. The traps included trip wires, a board with nails sticking up and fish hooks hung at eye level.

More than 100 records of fresh produce fraud

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-29 Tue 09:42
2020-Sep-29 Tue 09:42
1584

Fraud with regard to fruit (and produce in general) is commonly related to labeling claims about production practices, production location or brand names. In some parts of the world, unapproved substances may be used to speed or enhance ripening or to make fruits look more visually appealing. Still,…

Irish Gardaí seize 50 kilos of cocaine hidden in fruit container

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-28 Mon 19:47
2020-Sep-28 Mon 19:47
1575

In Ireland, Gardaí have seized 50 kilos worth of cocaine -with an estimated street value of €3.5 million- following a major surveillance operation. The truck driver, believed to be from the south-east of the country, was being questioned last weekend at a north Dublin garda station. The drugs haul was…

CBP officers at Pharr Cargo facility discover $960K in cocaine in commercial shipment

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-28 Mon 19:46
2020-Sep-28 Mon 19:46
1577

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility discovered $960,500 worth of alleged cocaine concealed within a commercial shipment of produce arriving from Mexico. “Our top priority is to keep our country and the people that live in…

Mixing produce and drugs produces a $4M bust

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-25 Fri 10:03
2020-Sep-25 Fri 10:03
1546

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility thwarted a smuggling attempt of alleged cocaine and methamphetamine worth $4 million in a commercial shipment of fresh produce arriving from Mexico. 

“Tenacity is the key in keeping dangerous drugs from crossing our borders,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, Port of Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas. CBP officers are committed to upholding CBP’s ongoing border security mission, serving as the guardians of our country’s borders.”

On Sep. 22, 2020, a 28-year-old truck driver, a Mexican citizen arrived from Mexico at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge cargo facility driving a tractor/trailer that contained a commercial shipment of produce. A CBP officer referred the conveyance for a secondary examination and after utilizing all available tools and resources, including a canine team, officers discovered packages of suspected narcotics hidden within the trailer floor. CBP OFO removed and seized 200 packages weighing 250 pounds of alleged cocaine and 61 packages weighing 105.82 pounds of alleged methamphetamine.

CBP OFO seized all the narcotics and the tractor/trailer and arrested the driver. Agents with Homeland Security Investigations took custody of the men while they continue with the investigations.

Ton of cocaine found hidden in fruit shipment at Port of Dover

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-24 Thu 08:14
2020-Sep-24 Thu 08:14
1514

Two men have been arrested after around a ton of cocaine concealed within a load of fruit was seized Dover. The discovery was made in the early hours of yesterday morning by specialist Border Force search teams. The cocaine, with a street value of approximately £100m has been found hidden in a shipment…