Agents from the Nature Protection Service (SEPRONA) of the Huelva Civil Guard Command, in the so-called CARDIIDAE operation, have dismantled a criminal group dedicated to the illegal fishing of molluscs and proceeded to arrest 4 people and investigate 5 other individuals and 5 legal entities from different Andalusian provinces, who are attributed the commission of crimes against public health and document falsification.
This operation is aimed at the fight against illegal shellfish harvesting of live bivalve molluscs (MBV) from other countries and their subsequent commercialization and disposal of the final consumer in different parts of Spain and Europe.
The mollusks, mostly from Portugal and captured in restricted or prohibited areas by illegal shellfish, were introduced into Spain through the use of falsified capture and transport documents (place of capture, date, authorized shellfish, labeling …) where they were marketed, without a correct and even, sometimes, null purification, as established by the sanitary regulations to be able to be destined for human consumption. During the inspections carried out at different dispatch and purification centers and aquaculture facilities, 16 tons of VBM (Live Bivalve Molluscs) and a multitude of documentation were intervened, as well as the closure of a facility and the location of a purification plant. clandestine installed in a semi-trailer that did not comply with current regulations.
SEPRONA is the contact point of the European Food Fraud Network, which allows it to have first-hand knowledge of possible irregularities in the food trade within the European market. Other European, national and regional bodies and organizations have collaborated in the operation, such as: Europol, GNR Portuguesa, AESAN (Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition); ASAE Portugal (Autoridade de Segurança Alimentaria e Económica), the Fisheries Inspection Department of the Agricultural and Fisheries Management Agency of the Junta de Andalucía, attached to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries in Huelva; and the Inspection Department of the Public Health Service of the Territorial Delegation of Health and Family of Huelva.